Nimbus Sport in 3-year rights deal for Afro-Asia Cup cricket

MUMBAI: Nimbus Sport and the Asian Cricket Council have entered into an agreement whereby commercial rights to the Afro-Asia Cup cricket tournaments of 2005, 2006 and 2007 have been assigned to Nimbus Sport.

The production for the inaugural edition of the tournament, which is being held in South Africa, is being managed by SuperSport. For the 2006 and 2007 tournaments, however, it will be Nimbus that will be managing both the commercial rights as well as production.

As regards the price Nimbus has paid for the rights, industry sources have put it in the region of $ 12 million. According to people close to the developments, the total outgo for Nimbus in terms of rights fees as well as production costs at the end of three years has been calculated at $ 15 million.

The Afro-Asia Cup is being jointly organised by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the Africa Cricket Association (ACA) with the inaugural edition in South Africa being played from 17-21 August. The 2006 tournament will be in Asia and the 2007 tournament will be in Africa. All three Afro-Asia Cups will consist of three One Day Internationals each played as day-night games between Asia and Africa, with the teams being drawn from the best players of the respective continents.

The ICC has granted official ODI status to all matches.

Said ACC president Jagmohan Dalmiya: "The Afro-Asia Cup will bring together the best players from Africa and Asia in a highly competitive tournament. At stake is the title of champion continent. Our choice of Nimbus Sport as commercial partner was determined not just by their financial offer but also by their record in consistently performing to their proven abilities."

Nimbus Sport plans to introduce several television licensing innovations with the Afro-Asia Cup. The tournament will have a title sponsor and two official sponsors.

Nimbus Sports chairman Harish Thawani said: "Sporting competition is about the balance between innovation and tradition and we expect fans to be enthused by this clash of the titans. We have already had unprecedented interest from broadcasters and sponsors and will announce major partnerships as early as next week."

The Afro-Asia Cup announcement comes close on the heels of Nimbus Sport securing the contract to manage commercial and sponsorship rights for the A1 Grand Prix in India. A1 is promoted by Dubai's Sheikh Maktoum.

Nimbus expects to soon announce two major long-term deals in golf and football as well, the company has stated.

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