Big Bash League Teams Set to Cash In on Sponsorship Increase

By Community | May 27, 2014

All eight Big Bash League franchises are set to break even financially in the 2014-15 season thanks to big rises in sponsorship revenue.

Cricket Australia commercial executive manager Mike McKenna said the rise in sponsor interest in the sport is due to strong television ratings for the BBL on Network Ten last season, treat during which matches attracted an average of 638,000 viewers per evening game across capital cities.

“What we found was the ratings were pretty similar across the board, be it if the Hobart Hurricanes are playing or the Melbourne Stars are playing,” Mr McKenna said.

“So we can say we are a national product [for sponsors of any team]. We will have all the teams have major sponsors next season and second-tier sponsors as well. Some will even have good third-tier sponsor deals.”

He said seven of eight franchises recorded a surplus in the 2013-14 ­season. The only exception was the Hurricanes, which had one game washed out and operated with reduced capacity at their home ground due to building works.

Anthony Everard, the BBL’s league manager, told Sponsorship News last week several clubs were signing sponsorship deals at twice the price of the value of last season’s contracts.

Mr McKenna said total sponsorship across the BBL franchises is set for an overall doubling next season, with the league also on the verge of signing a new second-tier major partner and a new apparel deal.

In 2014-15, the BBL will have four major sponsors, lead by naming rights partner KFC, after not filling all the ­categories last season.

However, Mr McKenna said that despite the league’s success the eight franchises needed to continue to grow.

“We’ve set them a series of 20 per cent targets, which are different for each franchise,” he said. “For some it might be a 20 per cent increase in crowds, others it might be 20 per cent in social media [activity] or TV viewer numbers. We think we can still achieve large growth, because we think there is a market for it.”