New Delhi: Pernod Ricard India Pvt Ltd, the makers of whisky brand Royal Stag, has signed a five-year global partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC). Sports marketing experts estimate the size of Royal Stag’s sponsorship deal to be $5-6 million per year.

ICC’s global partners, such as carmaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, smartphone maker Oppo Co. Ltd, MRF Tyres Ltd and Emirates Airlines are estimated to be paying between $6 million and $8 million a year.

As an official partner, Royal Stag will have a comprehensive presence across broadcast, digital and on-ground activations of all ICC global tournaments, including the 2019 World Cup, T20 World Cup, World Test Championship and U19 World Cup and Women’s World Cup.

Last month, Indian craft beer Bira 91 signed a similar five-year partnership with ICC, making it the first Indian beverage brand to strike a global sponsorship deal with the cricket governing body.

“This is for the first time we are associating with ICC for a long-term and we have not done anything bigger than this before. We are a massive brand present across countries and therefore we need to be present at a global level when it comes to associating with a sport," said Kartik Mohindra, chief marketing officer, Pernod Ricard India.

The company has signed seven cricketers — KL Rahul, Andre Russel, Faf du Plessis, Kane Williamson, Ben Stokes, Mitchell Starc and Angelo Mathews — for its upcoming campaign that will break shortly. Conceptualised by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, the integrated campaign will be promoted across television, print, digital, and outdoor.

“Most importantly, we will give cricket fans the opportunity to watch live matches through contests. We have a five-month series ahead of us before the World Cup starts in May next year. We are looking forward to create buzz and excitement through the campaign," according to Mohindra.

Royal Stag has been associated with the game of cricket in various capacities since 2000, but this is the company first long-term commitment.

“This partnership is a right fit as Royal Stag has been associated with the game for a long period. We look forward to work with them in the next five years delivering exciting experiences to cricket fans across the world," said Dave Richardson, chief executive, ICC.

ICC, which has 104 member countries, signed fintech firm Moneygram as its event partner, Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot as its timing partner and Australian wine brand Wolf Blass as the official wine partner. In India, Star Sports is ICC’s broadcast partner.

According to Ritesh Nath, vice-president, Cornerstone Sport , a Mumbai-based agency, the association is a great move by Royal Stag since they have forayed into an international property by partnering with ICC. “In the last eight years, their communication has been around the ‘Make it large’ brand proposition being promoted by Bollywood and sports celebrities. Sports gives them a great platform to further this campaign and what better way to do this than the 2019 ICC World Cup."

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