Motor insurance company 1st Central has agreed a three-year extension to its stadium naming rights deal with Sussex Cricket, a move that will aid the ongoing redevelopment of the Hove venue.
The deal will see the facility, which has been Sussex’s home since 1872, continued to be named The 1st Central County Ground. For the past seven years Sussex Cricket and 1st Central have developed a partnership that has helped to ensure The 1st Central County Ground remains a modern multi-purpose venue for professional cricket, music concerts, weddings and corporate events.
The company, whose headquarters are in the Sussex town of Haywards Heath, will now also diversify the partnership with their brand adorning the back of both the Sussex D40 (disabled cricket team) and visually impaired team’s playing shirts. The partnership extension also provides continued support for annual charitable events such as Sussex Cricket Foundation’s DIScoverABILITY Day.
Mark Judges, commercial director for Sussex Cricket, said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with 1st Central for another three years, which in turn means the ground will have been known as The 1st Central County Ground, Hove for 10 seasons.
“Working in partnership with a local Sussex business, as a major sponsor, is incredibly rewarding. During our partnership we have helped generate brand awareness for 1st Central, which has contributed to their growth to over one million policy holders.
“In turn, their investment helps us invest in the future of Sussex Cricket and our infrastructure. This means generations to come will be able to enjoy the fantastic facilities and cricket on show in the heart of our county, whilst also safeguarding the commercial integrity of the oldest professional sports club in the world.”
Sussex Cricket said the partnership is key to helping sustain its ambitions, both on and off the pitch, for years to come, including the plans to improve the existing facilities at the ground.
During the past few seasons phase one of the ground redevelopment has seen the Southwest corner of The 1st Central County Ground undergo significant redevelopment, with a new pub, commercial offices and 37 apartments being constructed.
This phase of the development will open at the end of Q1 next year. The ongoing support 1st Central provides the club will help ensure plans to deliver phase two can progress over the seasons ahead, which in turn will enhance the hospitality and County Ground experience for both local and national level events.
Within phase two, Sussex Cricket aims to enhance the hospitality facilities with renovations including the development of new private boxes and a roof terrace.
Ben Tomasetti, managing director of 1st Central, added: “I am proud that we can continue supporting our community and now, through our work with the D40 and visually impaired teams, accessibility in cricket.
“The 1st Central County Ground remains a venue of choice and we are excited to take our seat for at least three more years, watching with excitement all the club’s teams and some of the biggest artists from around the world.”