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Sponsorship rules just not cricket

DESPITE the current troubles surrounding two key international cricket tournaments and the US baseball Series, most WA sports administrators believe the business of Australian sports marketing is under control.

The cricket World Cup and the Champions Trophy were put in jeopardy because the International Cricket Council had decided to enter into a sponsorship agreement outside those already in place.

This meant some cricketers were put in an awkward position if their personal sponsors operated in the same line of business as the sponsors the ICC had signed. A solution of sorts has been found – for now.

Sponsorcare Management’s Peter Hesketh said sports administrators needed to set some ground rules.

“The big problem is that, at an elite level, agents are trying to make as much money for individual players as possible. The club is trying to make money for the club and the sports’ governing bodies are there as well. Sometimes the venues are trying to get their share,” he said.

“This could be dealt with, in a perfect world, by representatives of all of these interests sitting down and working out some guidelines.”

Similar problems existed in the Australian Football League when players started taking on individual boot sponsorships that were at odds with their clubs’ boot sponsorships.

Fremantle Dockers corporate sales manager Colin Young said the AFL had solved this by creating sponsor-ship guidelines. The AFL has three protected sponsors and each club can have four protected sponsors. Players can pick up sponsorships from companies whose businesses do not clash with the AFL or their clubs’ sponsors, he said.

West Coast Eagles marketing manager Deane Pieters said the AFL’s sports marketing guidelines had been working well.

A WA Cricket Association spokesman said Australian cricket had strong sponsorship rules in place that extended from international players down to district club level.

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