The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has brought in Reliance Industries-owned Rise Worldwide as its exclusive digital and virtual sponsorship sales agent in India.

Through a deal running until 2026, Rise will act as the exclusive Indian sponsorship sales agent for virtual and digital inventory across a range of select top-tier national team series to be played in England over the next two years.

Rise has said the deal presents “limitless opportunities for brands to engage with Indian audiences on a deeper level,” increasing their visibility in that key market.

The period in question involves a major tour of England by the Indian men’s team next year, for five test matches, as well as a limited-overs tour the following year. Aside from England-India contests, there is also a series between England and Australia, the iconic rivals, taking place later this year.

Bilateral series where India are the tourists are usually financially vital for the home team’s board, with that country easily the world’s biggest cricket market in terms of broadcast and commercial rights valuations.

Tony Singh, chief commercial officer at the ECB, said: “The market in India presents huge opportunities and we are excited to explore unique digital and virtual sponsorship sales in the country with Rise. By combining our expertise, we are looking forward to unlocking innovative opportunities for brands to interact with India’s passionate cricketing fan base.”

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Nikhil Bardia, Rise Worldwide’s head, added: “We are committed to identifying customized avenues tailored to ECB’s brand partners to engage with their target demographics in India. The association also enables us to push the boundaries of possibility, and deliver unparalleled value to fans and sponsors alike.”

Rise has a similar tie-up in place with the Cricket Australia (CA) body, through which it sells sponsorship slots across Indian TV for internationals organized by CA.

That partnership is set to encompass several marquee series including tours of Australia by India in both 2024-25 and 2025-26.