Kia has partnered with the England women's cricket team as an official sponsor, in what is being described as a historic deal for the sport. The agreement - which is worth in excess of six figures per year to the team – will see the carmaker become the sole title sponsor of England's home test matches during the next two years.
Previously, any sponsorship agreements for the women's team formed part of wider deals with the entire England cricket association. This latest partnership will allow all received funds to be used solely by the women's team.
"Major global brands want to be associated with winners, and it is fantastic that the team's outstanding performances on the field and growing media profile have enabled the England women's cricket to earn their first-ever standalone commercial deal," commented former captain Clare Connor, now the ECB's head of women's cricket.
The first matches to be played following the deal will be against India in August 2014 and then the Women's Ashes Test against Australia next summer.
Kia is already involved with English cricket with the sponsorship of Surrey County Cricket Club, whose ground in Kennington, South London is named The Kia Oval. This latest arrangement will further strengthen the brand's exposure as its presence in the UK market continues to grow.
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