FedEx and Saab form innovative commercial and editorial relationship with ESPNcricinfo
As excitement builds for the ICC Cricket World Cup next month, ESPNcricinfo, the world’s leading cricket website, has secured innovative commercial relationships with two major brands that demonstrate its ability to deliver unique value to marketeers on a global scale with local precision.
The world’s largest express transportation company FedEx is supporting ESPNcricinfo’s extensive Cricket World Cup coverage on a global level, and car marque Saab at a UK-level, through sponsorship of the sites, which will include extensive coverage, ball-by-ball updates, scores and text commentary as well as recaps, interviews and player profiles from every match.
Lynne Kraselsky, Senior Vice president, International Advertising & Sponsorship Sales, ESPN, said: “ESPNcricinfo’s World Cup relationships demonstrate its unrivalled ability to connect brands to cricket fans worldwide. Through our passionate and unparalleled coverage of global sporting events across all media and devices, we have a passion for serving fans and advertisers.”
FedEx has been secured as a global commercial partner for all social media through the global launch of the FedEx Fan Network in preparation for the start of the Cricket World Cup. Conceived by ESPN’s International Marketing Solutions group and offering fans an unparalleled social media experience during the world’s most important cricket tournament, the FedEx Fan Network will allow cricket fans to interact both with ESPNcricinfo’s team of experts, and, other cricket fans around the world.
Using a variety of social media tools including Facebook and Twitter, users will be able to predict the outcome of each match, discuss and analyse the tournament with each other, rate their favourite players, vote on daily issues and sign up to receive daily email updates. The FedEx Fan Network will run from early February 2011 through the end of the tournament in April 2011.
“Cricket as a sport aligns well with our values at FedEx, as the key qualities for victory on the pitch – such as teamwork, trust and reliability – are the same for world-class package delivery,” said Raj Subramaniam, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing, FedEx Services. “The FedEx Fan Network also reinforces our commitment to being one of the leading companies in the social media space – offering our customers the most up to date and insightful information for one of the key sporting events in the calendar at their fingertips.”
In the UK, Saab will also be a lead sponsor of ESPNcricinfo’s Cricket World Cup coverage, between February 1 2011 and April 1 2011. Saab’s sponsorship of the ESPNcricinfo wesbite on key dates throughout the Cricket World Cup, includes the opening day and will deploy several ad formats such as branded leaderboards and MPUs. Additionally, Saab will be launch sponsor for ESPNcricinfo’s first iPhone and Android apps.
The relationship also extends to a major new editorial collaboration – ESPNcricinfo’s Innovation Series, in partnership with SAAB – a ten-week series of in-depth features, written by ESPNcricinfo’s experts plus cricket legends, detailing the developments and advancements in cricket history that have helped shape the modern game. These features, published each Monday, will each examine a specific area of cricket innovation. Topics set to be covered in the series include changing cricket equipment, the introduction of limited overs cricket, the impact of increasing live TV coverage, and, the development of new cricket playing styles over the years.
Andy Biernacki, National Communications Manager, Saab GB, said, “Saab GB is delighted to support ESPNcricinfo’s World Cup online coverage for UK cricket fans. Such comprehensive and up-to-the- minute coverage aligns closely with our passion to deliver an unrivalled customer product and service experience.
"Coupled with Saab’s automotive innovation heritage, cricket enthusiasts can enjoy detailed and expert analysis of how the modern game has evolved in the Saab Innovation series throughout the tournament."
Expert analysis and insight will be led by ESPNcricinfo.com’s team of cricket greats such as Ian Chappell, former Australia cricket captain, Geoff Boycott, former England cricketer and fourth highest accumulator of Test centuries in history, Sanjay Manjrekar, former India Test batsman, Ian Bishop former West Indies cricketer who took 100 wickets in just 21 Tests and Mahela Jayawerdene, Sri Lanka’s leading batsman. Further reporting and analysis will be delivered by the site’s team of leading writers including Sambit Bal (ESPNcricinfo Editor), Andrew Miller (UK Editor), Osman Samiuddin (Pakistan editor) and columnists including Peter Roebuck and Gidoen Haigh.