By James Wells in Düsseldorf

Hardys, the number one wine brand in the UK in volume and value will now sponsor English Cricket in addition to its sponsorship of Australian cricket.

The three year deal was unveiled earlier this month at a function at Lords cricket ground and also included the announcement of Sir Ian Botham as a brand ambassador.

Accolade Wines is chasing the marketing equivalent of an endless summer after announcing the sponsorship of the Australian cricket team in late 2013

Hardys will now sponsor both competing teams when they next meet for The Ashes in England in 2015.

According to Accolade Wines general manager for UK & Ireland, Paul Schaafsma, there are three sports in Australia worth sponsoring.

“There is cricket, tennis and rugby. Tennis is already taken and we see cricket in the one day or five forms as ideal with a 70 per cent male and 30 per cent female audience with consumers we have identified as wine enthusiasts and wine hobbyists. We are also excited that female participation in cricket is growing."

Accolade Wines will be complementing the ECB sponsorship with 8500 advertisements on Sky Sports during the English summer of cricket.

As a part of the deal, Hardys has announced the ‘1853’ Club’ solely for premium wines such as HRV and Eileen Hardy which will be initially targeted to the 750,000 members of English Cricket.

“Hardys is the number one wine brand in the UK with 4.4 million nine litre cases annually and has experienced 5.4 per cent volume growth and 11.7 per cent value growth in the last 12 months alone,” said Accolade Wines category development controller, Jane Robertson.

Hardys brand ambassador, Bill Hardy, told TheShout he is “absolutely thrilled to be sponsoring both cricket organisations”.

“It is a sport close to my heart and has been enjoyed by the many generations of the Hardy family,” he said.

Hardy said he was particularly proud of the recent addition of the new William Hardy range produced in his name.

To hear more from Bill Hardy, click on the video below:

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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