Sponsorship Management in Cricket: A Case Study of the Stanford Super Series, the West Indian Cricket Board and Digicel

Research output: Book/ReportScholarly editionpeer-review


On the 17th of February 2009 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) formally charged Allen Stanford and two of his colleagues with fraud. The fraud related to the management of the Stanford Investment Group and involved the misrepresentation of investments to clients up to the value of US$8 billion. Before the charges were filed by the SEC Stanford was an active supporter of sporting events and tournaments. The Stanford 20/20 domestic cricket series had been staged successfully and had boosted domestic interest in West Indian cricket. He built upon this domestic success with a proposal to develop an international series of matches. This case focuses on the management of sponsorship during the Stanford Super Series match on November 1st 2008. It does this by presenting a chronological analysis of the dispute between the WICB (West Indian Cricket Board) and Digicel, their title sponsor. However issues preceding the series were linked to a history of tension between the sponsor, their competitors, and the players and management staff of West Indian cricket. The dispute resulted in the British High Court verdict brought about by Digicel against the WICB and Stanford as the Super Series promoter. The case has implications for the management of sports sponsorship in addition to the broader management of the sport of cricket. The paper concludes with some recommendations for policy actions which may prevent this type of dispute from occurring in the future.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBirkbeck University of London
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)1756-8811
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Anon (2008). Statewide Twenty-20. The Mercury. Accessed at http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2008/10/22/34075_sport.html on October 24th 2008.

Atherton, M. (2008).West Indies cricket sinks further into turmoil. The Times. Accessed at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/cricket/article4903375.ece on 20th October 2008.

BBC (2007). WICB approves Stanford Twenty20. BBC Sport. Accessed at http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/other_international/west_indies/6981378.stm on 28th January 2008.

Bose, S. & Gupta, S. (2004).Money tames cricket. In B. Majumdar and J.A. Mangan (eds.) Cricketing cultures in conflict: World Cup 2003, Routledge: London, pp176-197.

Bose, M. (2006). The Magic of Indian Cricket (2nd ed). Routledge: London.

Brenkley, S. (2008). It's the biggest prize in cricket history, $20m for a three-hour showdown. Just a stunt – or a glimpse of the future? The Independent. Accessed at http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/its-the-biggest-prize-in-cricket-history-20m-for-a-threehour-showdown-just-a-stunt-ndash-or-a-glimpse-of-the-future-972826.html on 25th October 2008.

Bull, A. (2008). Stanford Super Series set to go ahead. The Guardian. Accessed at http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/oct/09/englandcricketteam.westindiescricketteam on 20th October 2008.

Bull, A. (2008b). America is revealed as main objective. The Guardian. Accessed at http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2008/nov/02/stanford-super-series-twenty20 on 2nd November 2008.

Burton, N and Chadwick, S. (2008). Ambush marketing in sport: an assessment of implications and management strategies. CIBS Working Paper Series no. 3. Accessed at http://www.coventry.ac.uk/researchnet/external/content/1/c4/53/26/v1213625116/user/CIBS%20WP03.pdf on 20th October 2008.

Chadwick, S. and Thwaites, D. (2005). Managing sport sponsorship programs: Lessons from a critical assessment of English soccer. Journal of Advertising, 45, 328-338.

Clark, G (2009). Stanford Alleged Fraud Threatens $100 Million of Sports Backing. Bloomberg News. Accessed at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601079&sid=a_5b5mDn_ds0&refer=home on 18th May 2009.

Cricinfo (2005). Sahara retains Indian team sponsorship rights. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-www.cricinfo.com/india/content/story/230258.html on 28th January 2008.

Cricinfo (2008a). Twenty20 television profits to go to WICB – Stanford. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/stanfordtwenty20/content/story/355598.html on October 1st 2008.

Cricinfo (2008b). Digicel maintains its rights are being infringed. Cricinfo. Accessed http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/stanfordtwenty20/content/story/366720.html at on October 1st 2008

Cricinfo (2008c). Sponsor row threatens Stanford game. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/stanfordtwenty20/content/current/story/370554.html on October 1st 2008.

Cricinfo (2008d). Digicel blocks Stanford’s participation in arbitration. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/stanfordtwenty20/content/story/371383.html on October 1st 2008.

Crozier, T. (2008a). Fools and paupers. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/westindies/content/story/373591.html?cmp=viral on 20th October 2008.

Crozier, T. (2008b). WICB lose court case. Trinidad and Tobago Express. Accessed at http://www.trinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_sports?id=161384936 on 20th October 2008.

De Freitas, K (2008). WICB, Digicel head to arbitration. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/stanfordtwenty20/content/story/362293.html on August 15th 2008.

Digicel (2007). Digicel renews commitment to West Indian cricket. Digicel Press Releases. Accessed at http://www.digicelgroup.com/en/media-center/press-releases/sponsorship/digicel-renews-committment-to-west-indies-cricket on 18th May 2009.

Digicel (2008a). Digicel Proposes Compromise Solution to Stanford 20/20 Impasse. Digicel Press Releases. Accessed at http://www.digicelcricket.com/08/?p=918 on 12th September 2008

Digicel (2008b). Digicel continues to seek compromise solution. Digicel Press Releases. Accessed at http://www.digicelcricket.com/08/?p=922 on 23rd September 2008.

Fletcher, D. (2008). The $20m verdict: this simply can't be good for the game. The Guardian. Accessed at http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2008/oct/25/stanford-super-series-englandcricketteam on 25th October 2008.

Fraser, A. (2008). Who gives a damn? It's not cricket. The Independent. Accessed at http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/angus-fraser-who-gives-a-damn-its-not-cricket-954436.html on 10th October 2008.

Gollapudi, N. (2008). Stanford match threatened by sponsor dispute. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/stanfordtwenty20/content/story/366375.html on 12th September 2008

Gupta, A. (2004). The globalisation of cricket: the rise of the non-west. The International Journal of the History of Sport 21(2), 257–276.

Grime, K. (2007). One day revolution. Lancashire County Cricket Club Online Archives. Accessed at http://www.lccc.co.uk/print.php?p=news&id=1288 on 22nd October 2008.

Hobson, R. (2008). Cricketers vie for Allen Stanford's riches. The Times. Accessed at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/cricket/article4123662.ece on 18th June 2008.

Hopwood, M. (2007). The sports integrated marketing communications mix. In J. Beech and S. Chadwick (eds.) The Marketing of Sport. FT Prentice Hall: London, pp213-238.

Hopwood M. and Edwards, A. (2008). “The game we love evolved”: Cricket in the 21st Century. In S. Chadwick and D. Arthur (eds.) International Cases in the Business of Sport. Elsevier: Oxford, pp257-269.

Kidd, P. (2008). Allen Stanford to profit from Twenty20 series. The Times. Accessed at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/article5057874.ece on 1st November 2008.

Kitchin, P. (2008a) Twenty-20 and English domestic cricket. In S. Chadwick and D. Arthur (eds.) International Cases in the Business of Sport. Elsevier: Oxford, pp101-113.

Kitchin, P. (2008b). Development of limited overs cricket: London’s loss of power. London Journal of Tourism, Sport and Creative Industries 1 (2), 70-75.

Lagae, W. (2005). Sports Sponsorship and Marketing Communications. FT Prentice Hall: London.

Mehta, N. (2007). The great Indian news trick: satellite television, cricketisation and Indianisation. Paper presented at One-Day Seminar on International Cricket at the University of London, 2nd March 2007.

McFarlane, P. (1977). A Game Divided. Hutchinson Australia: Melbourne.

Meenaghan, T. (1996). Ambush marketing: A threat to corporate sponsorship. Sloan Management Review, 38 (1), 103-113.

Mintel (2006). Sponsorship – February 2006. Mintel: London.

Moss, S. (2008). It’s all over now. The Guardian – G2, p4. 29th October 2008.

Pouchet, M (2006). Gordon clarifies Stanford cancellation. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-www.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/259835.html on 3rd March 2008.

Rao, K. (2006). Sponsorship: Lessons from Indian Sponsors. Unpublished Thesis. London Metropolitan University: London.

Richards, H. (2005). Crossed lines in West Indies. International Herald Tribune. Accessed at http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/03/29/sports/CRICKET.php on October 24th, 2008.

Saltau, C. (2008). Stanford, the IPL’s Competitor. The Age. Accessed at http://www.theage.com.au/news/cricket/new-faces-of-cricket/2008/02/25/1203788248401.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap1 on March 3rd 2008.

Streeton, R. (1977). Greig is hoping for a compromise. The Times, 12th May 1977, 12.

Wheatcroft, J. (2003). One way to test disaster. The Financial Times, Sport p.14 8th August 2003.

WICB (2008). Mission. West Indies Cricket Board: About Us. Accessed at http://www.windiescricket.com/go/wicb on October 24th 2008.

Williamson, M. (2004). Phone Wars. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/westindies/content/story/142049.html on 17th October 2008.

Williamson, M. (2008). Court to rule if Stanford game can proceed. Cricinfo. Accessed at http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/stanfordtwenty20/content/story/372167.html on 31st October 2008.

Winder, R. (2005). Centre of influence switching to Asia. The Times, 4th April 2005.


Dive into the research topics of 'Sponsorship Management in Cricket: A Case Study of the Stanford Super Series, the West Indian Cricket Board and Digicel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this