The ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales has shattered all the records for rained out games in a cricket World Cup. Just into its third week, the World Cup 2019 has got four no result matches due to rains in England. Three of the four games were called off even without the toss taking place. There have been only nine washouts till date in the 12 editions of the limited overs quadrennial competition. The ongoing tournament in England and Wales has accounted for four of them.
Fans return disappointed. Team’s plans to progress towards the coveted crown get disrupted. But it’s the sponsors and the brands who are hit the hardest financially for not getting the due commercial and marketing mileage on their investments.
However, the International Cricket Council has quashed the claims that World Cup 2019 sponsors and brands are unhappy with the washed out games, business daily Economic Times has reported.
“The brands are happy about the reach and engagement with audiences of the World Cup,” the ICC’s general manager-commercial Campbell Jamieson has told a group of journalists in Nottingham, the paper has reported.
Jamieson further pointed out that the feedback from the brands and sponsors has suggested that the World Cup commercial partners were satisfied with what has taken place so far.
The washed out games included the India-New Zealand tie on June 13 while the “derby” featuring India and Pakistan on Sunday last, the biggest commercial asset of the ongoing tournament, was curtailed as Pakistan chased the 337-run target.
The two washed out games involving Sri Lanka had hurt the Indian water purifying brand Kent RO, the team’s principal sponsor for the World Cup. Afghanistan, being sponsored by another Indian brand Amul, too had a rained out match.
The ICC has sponsorship deals with 21 brands. The list includes Bira, Coca-Cola, MRF Tyres, Uber, Oppo, Royal Stag, Drem 11, Star Sports and Britannia. While making multi-million dollars commitments to the ICC, the brand also invest heavily on activations to seek the best mileage from major events like the ICC World Cup.
The ICC has faced flak for not having sufficient arrangements to deal with the rains and also not having
Jamieson said ICC never ever had reserve days in any cricket tournament except for the knock out finals. “Historically, not more than two games have been washed out in any cricket World Cup. If we were to have reserve days for every game, it will extend the event by probably another one month,” he said.
However, a senior official with a leading brand associated with the World Cup said while the company has taken a long-term view of the tournament, still it is a potential hit on the return on investment if high eye-ball games like those of India get washed out or curtailed.
The companies and broadcaster though take insurance protection for any potential loss due to bad weather or other uncertainties, the refunds are primarily limited to their investments. A lost opportunity seldom has any appropriate compensation.