Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sri Lanka Cricket takes Dialog’s call for mega Rs1 b + worth 3 year sponsorship deal

The coveted sponsorship deal for Sri Lanka Cricket team has been clinched by Dialog Axiata, following a record $ 9 million (over Rs. 1 billion) worth successful bid amidst stiff competition.

The sponsorship is for three years and sports marketing analysts said Dialog’s overall spend would be higher than its official bid.

Among others who submitted bids were an Indian party on behalf of one of its clients and the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

Media spokesman for Sri Lanka Cricket declined to comment on finality but indicated a statement would be released today.
Dialog will be replacing industry competitor Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, which was originally contracted for three years in a deal estimated to be worth $ 3 million and subsequently extended by another year.

When contacted Sri Lanka Cricket Sponsorship Committee Chairman Asanga Seneviratne declined to give details but told the that the record bid proves there is confidence in the future of Sri Lanka Cricket and realising its true potential.

“It also confirms the passion to take Sri Lanka’s favourite game to greater heights,” he added.
“Sri Lanka Cricket under the presidency of Upali Dharmadasa within a short span of one year has turned around to become profitable and the record sponsorship is a further manifestation of this,” said Seneviratne, adding that improved administration as well as the Sri Lanka Premier League helped SLC to make Rs. 160 million profit on domestic cricket from a Rs. 140 million loss previously.
Sri Lanka leads in the T20 ranking compiled by Reliance ICC and is at number six in the test ranking whilst being at number four in the ODI ranking.

Sports sponsorship and marketing analysts noted that Dialog, a major supporter of sports, is likely to have pitched for Sri Lanka Cricket as it is the biggest national asset of the country with worldwide appeal. Dialog which has a customer base of 7.5 million, via the deal will ring more hearts as cricket is Sri Lanka’s pride and passion.

Dialog Axiata last year came forward to sponsor Sri Lanka Rugby at international and local level in an exclusive five-year deal. This included the Sri Lanka 15-a-Side National Team, and the ‘A’ Division Club Rugby League and Clifford Cup Tournaments.

Soon after the rugby deal, Dialog Axiata Group CEO Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya told the media: “When we decide on sponsorship, we consider the future trajectory of the sport as well as the commitment and plans of the sporting body.” The same philosophy is likely to have inspired Dialog in making the bid for Sri Lanka Cricket.

Dialog is renowned for being closely associated in developing school cricket, athletics, football, rugby, volleyball, rowing and disabled sports, and has sponsored national contingents to international events, including the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth, Asian, SAF, and FESPIC Games.

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