SMT Shipping becomes sponsor of Dutch domestic competition
Hard on the heels of the KNCB’s announcement that energy company E.on are sponsors of this season’s Twenty20 Cup comes more good news for Dutch cricket, with a three-year agreement with SMT Shipping that the maritime international firm will be the main sponsor of the Dutch 50-over competition.
The Bond has been without a sponsor for its one-day domestic competition since the end of its agreement with Nachenius Tjeenk, and these two deals suggest that it may at last be beginning to build up a portfolio of support to balance its income from ICC and from NOC*NSF.
Announcing the agreement with SMT Shipping, KNCB chief executive Richard Cox said that this was ‘a great step forward’ for the Bond.
‘SMT Shipping is a large international company with a Dutch background,’ he said, ‘and we are very grateful for their investment in Dutch cricket at this difficult economic climate. We look forward to working closely with them over the next three years.
‘We will be continuing to look for new sponsors, who can make a substantial contribution to other areas of our activity, such as events and development programmes, as we strive systematically to raise our profile in the Netherlands and across the cricketing world.’
Although the agreement specifically relates to the domestic competition, SMT Shipping’s logo will also appear – with the agreement of main sponsor ABN AMRO – on the sleeves of the national side’s shirts when they play in the CB40 League, and in those ICC competitions where it is permitted.
SMT Shipping’s chief executive Mark Voorham said that his company deemed it a great honour to become the competition’s main sponsor.
‘Although we compete in a world market we are proud of our base in the Netherlands, and of our presence in Vlaardingen.
‘We know that cricket is a major sport in many of the countries where we are active – SMT Shipping has an established name in the Caribbean and American markets, and as we expand our business in the Middle East and Asia, we hope that through our new name and new logo we will be able to build on the popularity of cricket in those regions.’
Both Cox and Voorham noted that the company had had links with Dutch cricket in the past through its employment of several former and current internationals, including Chris Smith and Eric Szwarczynski.
Established in Cyprus in 1990, SMT Shipping has bases in Cyprus, Poland and the Netherlands, and has expanded from shipping management into ship ownership and crewing, specialising in bulk cargoes in purpose-designed or adapted vessels.
With the Port of Rotterdam the busiest in Europe and ranked ninth in the world, shipping is an appropriate market to support Dutch cricket, and SMT Shipping will be a welcome addition to the KNCB’s growing portfolio of major sponsors.