Relief activity for the October 2005 earthquake victims will get fresh impetus as India and Pakistan prepare to play a part fundraiser Friendship Series in Abu Dhabi in April this year. Two day and night matches will be played on April 18 and 19 April at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Both matches will be counted as official ODIs and are recognised by the International Cricket Council.
Following this announcement, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also announced tenders for stadium ground rights for the series, which include all in-stadium branding and on air promotions. The minimum bid for the ground rights tender package is $3 million and participation is open to any company or agency with a net worth of $5 million. Sealed bid entries will be accepted till 4:30 pm on March 31, 2006 in Mumbai at the BCCI office. The sealed bids will be opened at 5:00 pm on the same day.
The ground rights sponsorship entails an exclusive sponsorship package, offering logos on all tickets, entry gates, ground logos, stumps, etc. Further, the package includes on-air event promotions, which will include title sponsors name and mentions during flash interviews and on the scorecards.
“This is a unique opportunity for brands to not only reach out to the Indian communities overseas, but also promote their brand in a unique manner where for the first time all rights are being offered to a single company,” said Lalit Modi, Chairman, Marketing Sub-Committee and Vice-President, BCCI.
All revenues from Day 1 of the series, after meeting basic costs, will be donated to the earthquake relief funds of the two countries. 75 per cent of the charitable donation shall go to the President’s Earthquake Relief Fund in Pakistan, while 25 per cent shall be donated to the Kashmir Earthquake Relief Fund in India.
In an added gesture, players from both teams have decided to donate their match fees for Day 1 to this worthy cause.
“Cricket is one of the most popular games in Asia, and helping out people affected by this earthquake through the game is an honour for us. The cricket boards of Pakistan and Abu Dhabi, and players from the Indian and Pakistani teams have shown great spirit in formulating this series and we are grateful to them for their interest. We are certain this will be a huge success,” added Modi.
Tenders for media rights for the matches are likely to be announced soon.