Ireland extend sponsorship deal until 2015
Emmet Riordan (Irish Times)
Ireland’s continued success on the pitch has been rewarded with a new increased and expanded sponsorship deal with RSA Insurance that will run until 2015.
Announced at the company’s head office in Sandyford today, the deal will see RSA invest more widely in the game, including the upcoming return of interprovincial cricket and a new grassroots programme entitled Get Into Cricket.
In welcoming the extended deal, Cricket Ireland chief executive Warren Deutrom said: “We are delighted to further cement our partnership with such a major Irish and global company as RSA for a further four years.
“This represents a tangible vote of confidence, not just in what our talented players have achieved on the pitch, but also in Cricket Ireland’s new strategic objective and for our domestic and international growth ambition.
“RSA’s tremendous support has been instrumental in allowing us to increase our presence and impact on the global cricketing stage. We look forward to further building on this impact internationally and ensuring the structures are in place on the domestic front to develop future generations of Irish Cricketers.”
Ireland recently won the ICC World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in Dubai, beating Afghanistan in the decider to earn a place in September’s finals in Sri Lanka. They will face Australia and West Indies in their group games and their performances in Dubai have seen them rise above the West Indies to eighth spot in the world rankings.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons has stated that the contracting of players to full- and part-time contracts has been key in Ireland’s successes over the last few years, with 23 players now tied in to Cricket Ireland over three different contract types.
The new deal is likely to see an extension of the programme over the coming years as Cricket Ireland look to establish a first-class cricketing structure on the island, one of the prerequisites of their aim of earning Test status by 2020.
Although no figure for the new deal was announced, it is believed to be a significant improvement on the estimated €1 million deal that was in place.
RSA chief executive Philip Smith said: “We’re delighted to announce the extension and significant expansion of our involvement with Cricket Ireland for the next four years. While maintaining our sponsorship of
Ireland’s national cricket teams, exciting new developments such as the new domestic competitions, grassroots and key event programmes will see RSA support the development of the game at all levels across the country.
“Over the last few years, the achievement of Cricket Ireland in firmly establishing this country as the leading non Test nation in world cricket has been second to none, and we at RSA have been very proud to support their efforts.”