The passion that Pakistanis and Indians have for cricket has made any India-Pakistan Test series one of the most highly anticipated and watched sport events since its inception in 1952.
As is known, Allianz, one of the world’s largest financial services providers, is now looking at building its brand in India through a series of marketing activities. To begin with, Allianz has collaborated with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as the title sponsor of the 2006 Pakistan-India Test series. Now known as the Allianz Cup, this sponsorship of the Test series is Allianz’s first foray into cricket sponsorship in Asia.
PCB’s official marketing partner, Nimbus Sport, one of the dominant names in sports media and marketing, holds all the sponsorship rights for Pakistan cricket from 2006-08 and has acquired the rights for cricket sponsorships for over $8 million that will exceed the sponsorship and in-stadia signage sales.
Nimbus, other than roping in Allianz and Hutch as title sponsors for the Test and
ODI series, respectively, has lined up an array of blue-chip sponsors such as Grasim, Ultra Tech and Allied Bank of Pakistan, as well as in-stadia signage brands for the forthcoming Pakistan-India series.
Digvijay Singh, CEO, Nimbus Sport International, said, “Nimbus has always sought to introduce new clients for the benefit of sport sponsorship, and Cricket in particular, and given that the India-Pakistan series is the most important cricketing event of 2006 in both nations, and that Allianz is a growing force in both nations, it seemed only natural to propose a major sponsorship to Allianz. The Allianz decision to sponsor the 2006 Pakistan-India Test Series was, therefore, driven by the intention to expand and further leverage the Allianz brand in the Asia region.”
The new Nimbus Allianz relationship will further develop due to the breadth of Nimbus sports properties and the strong Allianz sporting sponsorship tradition. The two companies are together exploring pathbreaking sports initiatives in the region.
Steven Althaus, Vice-President, Marketing Communications, Allianz Group, said, “Allianz has a strong and proud sports sponsorship heritage, currently sponsoring marquee events like Formula One, The America’s Cup, The Ryder Cup, and The Allianz Arena in Munich. This premier cricket series is a welcome addition to our sponsorship and certainly adds to our global sponsorship strategy.”
Althaus added, “The decision to sponsor the 2006 Pakistan-India test series was driven by our intention to expand and further leverage the Allianz brand in Asia with particular focus on the Indian and Pakistani markets. As an insurer, it is important that our customers know that Allianz will deliver on its promise when they need us most. Having a strong brand that is recognised for being a trusted partner is key to our competitive edge, especially in such dynamic and fast growing markets.”
Singh said, “At Nimbus Sport, our constant endeavour is to add to the magnanimity of the sport by roping sponsors that add value to the game. We are truly proud to welcome Allianz to the 2006 Pakistan-India tournament sponsor family. Both the countries share a strong passion for the sport and India-Pakistan matches always attract high viewership involvement from all over the world. We are sure to meet with a vigorous response at this tournament too.”
Shaharyar Khan, Chairman, PCB said, “We are very pleased to welcome this global leader in financial services as the title sponsor of the test series and we look forward to a long-standing and successful partnership with Allianz to continue to grow the region’s passion and interest in this great series.”
The Allianz Cup Test Series between Pakistan and India national cricket teams will first be played in Lahore from January13-17, 2006, moving to Faisalabad from January 21-25 and then at Karachi from January 29-February 2.
The series will be telecast live on Ten Sports.