Commonwealth Bank (CommBank) is rolling out its first major activation since shifting its core Cricket Australia partnership to the women’s team with a new initiative timed to leverage rising interest around the current ICC Women’s World Cup.
The ‘How Much Do You Really Know About Australian Cricket?’ campaign is spearheaded by a set of Q&A led spots, launched ahead of the tournament on 25 June, which come in both 50-second versions
and 15-second cut-downs.
The campaign highlights the fact that the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars are the current ICC T20 and 50-over World Cup champions and are the number one ranked team in the world and all ad iterations and campaign assets aim to drive viewers to the bank’s digital cricket hub at www.commbank.com.au/cricket
CommBank, which has supported women’s cricket for the last 18 years, is also promoting the activation across its social channels: including Instagram
Plus, in recent weeks, the bank has been generally leveraging its partnership with low latency news and views relating to the ICC Women’s World Cup with team announcements
and game updates.
Interestingly, while CommBank is able to utilize its women’s team rights and player access to create this campaign, other Cricket Australia (CA) sponsors find themselves in a more complicated position due to the ongoing pay dispute between the male players and the governing body.
Indeed, the failure of the two parties to reach a remuneration agreement (the last contract ended on 30 June) also offers challenges for CA’s search for a new test match naming rights sponsor after CommBank’s October 2016 decision to axe its Australian Men’s Team Test Series naming rights deal (valued at around £50m) and instead invest $15m in supporting the women’s game and diversity in cricket over the next three years.
CA used the departure to review and then rejig its sponsorship structure and separated naming rights sponsorship for the men’s international team and the test series itself.
CommBank’s previous four year CA deal, initially unveiled in May 2013 included name sponsorship rights to the Australian Test team (including on-kit logos) whilst playing at home and for the home test match series.
“Commonwealth Bank remains a proud partner of Cricket Australia and is excited to rebalance its sponsorship to help even up the gender and diversity scales in professional sport,” said a Commonwealth Bank statement at the time the latest agreement was announced.
“On top of the initiatives announced yesterday, we will continue to support the Test series until July 2017 and throughout the upcoming summer series.”
Over the last 28 years CommBank has backed CA from the grassroots game to the elite men’s team – most recently as the top tier platinum partner of CA.
The partnership spanned the elite men’s team and home test series, the women’s team, the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy, plus Cricket Victoria, the Australian Country Cricket Championship, the national indigenous tournament called The Imparja Cup, as well as the award winning, grassroots CommBank Cricket Club initiative (see previous case study).
At the time, CommBank’s agency M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment MD Jamie Gilbert-Smith described the move as a “powerful and progressive” one.
“It will serve to attract further exposure, drive participation and create sporting role models beyond the traditional ‘go-to’ male sports star, which can only have broader benefits,” said Gilbert-Smith.
“Sport is a metaphor for our society, and having broader role models helps reframe how we see others and ourselves. Brands are shaped by the role they play in people’s lives. They become more successful and create broader impact than those solely interested in commercial messages. It’s a landmark in Australian sports sponsorships and represents a long-term investment in the future of Australian society.”
This deal follows on from other similar recent partnerships in Australia between big brands and women’s sport – such as Netball Australia’s alliances with Telstra, Suncorp (see case study) and Samsung (see case study) and commercial partners backing the AFL’s women’s league ? (see case study) as a wider shift sees sponsorship of elite, professional women’s sport accelerate.
M&C Saatchi S&E Australia
ICC Women’s World Cup