Australian cricket’s Twenty20 competition the Big Bash League (BBL) has announced an extension to its partnership with Indian tire manufacturer BKT.
Under the deal, BKT will continue to sponsor end-of-season awards for leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker in the BBL and its women’s equivalent, the WBBL.
Respectively known as the BKT Golden Bat and BKT Golden Arm, the winners receive each a BKT-branded golden cap that they wear in-game.
Alistair Dobson, the general manager of the BBL and WBBL for the Cricket Australia governing body, stated: “The BKT Golden Arm and BKT Golden Bat caps have become a key component of the Big Bash experience and we're excited for them to continue to play a key role in celebrating the performances of the world-class players we have across both leagues.”
The off-highway tire company has been an official partner of the BBL since 2018, and the new deal will see it continue in this role for another three years.
This means that come the end of those three years, the eight-year partnership between the two will have been one of the longest-running partnerships in the league’s history.
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The BBL, known for sponsorship reasons as the KFC BBL, delivered a record audience in the final of its 2022-23 season.
The season finale, which saw the Perth Scorchers defeat the Brisbane Heat, drew an average of 548,000 viewers across the linear channels of its carrier network, Foxtel, on top of the 53,886 fans it drew to the Optus Stadium.
The game was the most-watched BBL match Foxtel has broadcast since it took over the rights ahead of the 2021-22 season.
Australian free-to-air broadcaster Channel Seven also drew high viewers, with 502,000 watching the game. In the end, Cricket Australia stated that the total average television and streaming audience across all platforms was close to 1.4 million, a 30% increase from the 2021-22 final.