System in place to protect sponsors from ambush marketing: ICC

New Delhi, Feb 8 (PTI) Ahead of the cricket World Cup,the ICC today said it is ready to tackle ambush marketing toprotect its sponsors, although it does not plan to add newcompanies to the existing list of over 10 partners.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) also said it hasseen a substantial increase in the total sponsorship revenuesfor the upcoming mega cricket event to be held in the Indiansubcontinent from February 19 to April 2, compared to the oneheld in West Indies four years ago.

"The stating point is that we will do everythingnecessary to protect rights of our commercial partners," ICCCEO Haroon Lorgat told reporters while stating ICC''s stance onambush marketing.

Ambush marketing is a strategy wherein advertisers try togain mileage out of an event without paying any sponsorshipfee. For instance, cricketers were used by Pepsi with its''There''s nothing official about it'' campaign during the WillsWorld Cup in 1996 held in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka much tothe ire of rival Coca Cola, which was the official sponsor.

ICC has already imposed restrictions on cricketers not toappear for any brands, which are rivals of its sponsorsseven days before and after the World Cup.

Lorgat said the ICC has deployed resources to keep acheck on ambush marketing. "We have a large team looking intoit," he added.

He, however, did not say if the ICC had so far receivedany complaints related to ambush marketing or any violation ofrights of the sponsors.

The ICC has already announced sponsorship deals withReliance Communications, LG, PepsiCo, Reebok, Hero Honda,Emirates, Yahoo, Castrol and Money Gram.

The global cricket body today also roped in Hyundai MotorIndia Ltd (HMIL) as the official car partner for the event andwill extend it till 2015 World Cup. HMIL has plans to spend atotal of Rs 200 crore on advertising, promotional activitiesand ICC sponsorship.

Asked if there would be more partners for the upcomingWorld Cup, Lorgat said: "We do not plan to announce any otherglobal sponsors after HMIL."

He said, come World Cup ICC will see a substantialincrease in sponsorship revenues compared to what it raked induring the last World Cup.

"There is very good growth in the game of cricket," headded. He, however, did not disclose numbers.

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