SLC set for financial windfall


SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala in discussion with the national cricket team’s senior players – Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga and Thisara Perera during yesterday’s launch of Nidhas Trophy tournament. All three players captained the country in white-ball cricket last year. (Pic by Gamini Munasinghe)

by Rex Clementine

A change of marketing strategy has helped Sri Lanka Cricket to a financial windfall as the board is set to earn a minimum of US$ 6.5 million (Rs. One billion) in profit with the selling of broadcasting and marketing rights for the upcoming tri-nation Nidhas Trophy tournament. The minimum amount projected is the highest revenue earned so far by SLC off a single event.

Bangladesh and India are the two participating nations in the tournament that will be played from the 6th to 18th of March at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium.

"Our profits generated from this event will be the highest in the history of Sri Lankan cricket in one single tournament. We have watched carefully as to how other global tournaments have been marketed. How the ICC markets the World Cup and World T-20. This will be the best tournament conducted by SLC. This will be a landmark event," SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala commented during yesterday’s media briefing staged to announce the event.

"For the last 15 to 20 years, we sold the marketing rights that covered the entire rights of an event the board owned, to one company. That included television rights, marketing rights and everything. We decided to split this into various areas. Broadcasters we are going separately, sponsors separately and digital separately," Sumathipala added.

"With the new technology, mobile phone companies are showing huge interests. Therefore the digital marketing rights are expanding. We felt that SLC was not getting the potential revenue. We can’t do that alone with little expertise of our own. Our market is very small. If you take a tournament like IPL, several marketing companies are involved. So we have gone to capable people. We have out-sourced and brought in Lagardere. They know how to go to the world market and sell our rights."

Lagardere is an international sports marketing agency to whom SLC’s right were outsourced.

"We are happy to announce that this event will bring in the highest viewership, listenership and digital penetration for an event SLC owns," Sumathipala went on to comment.

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