Coca-Cola bowls out PepsiCo on ICC pitch, becomes global sponsor

In a major development, Coca-Cola has replaced PepsiCo as the global sponsor of the International Cricket Council (ICC), breaking the latter's eight-year deal that was signed in 2015. The announcement of Coke’s induction as the global sponsor will be made in India on Thursday.

The move is of significance since the India team of Coca-Cola took the lead to bag the sponsorship. The deal size is estimated at Rs 300 crore over a five-year period till 2023, sources said.

The global deal will also bring Coke back into the reckoning as far as cricket sponsorships go. The last major ICC event that Coke participated was the ICC One-Day International World Cup’s 1996 edition, hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

In the last decade and a half, it was rival PepsiCo that hogged the limelight in terms of cricket sponsorships, both globally and in India. Things began to change when PepsiCo walked out of the Indian Premier League sponsorship in 2015, giving Coke some room to invest on the popular cricket property.  It has now snagged the ICC global sponsorship as well.

Apart from Coke bagging the on-ground sponsorship for several ICC events, including the upcoming ICC One-Day International World Cup in England and Wales in June, the deal includes several other ICC events, sources said. Further, there are India specific tie-ups between the two panning years to come. 

Coca-Cola India spokespersons were not available for comment.

At Thursday's announcement is Coca-Cola India home turf Gurugram, ICC global CEO Dave Richardson will share the stage with Coca-Cola’s India Head Krishna Kumar.

Coke India units direct involvement into ICC’s team of sponsors would be the third instance of an Indian business unit. In December, the ICC announced two major sponsorships with Indian liquor brands — Bira 91 beer and Royal Stag blended whisky.

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