The Hundred: The UK Government’s decision to ban high-fat, high-salt fast food or snacks has landed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in hot waters. As the government announced that it would include the sponsorship deals to promote fast food brands, it could see ECB drop KP Snacks from The Hundred’s sponsorship deal. The deal is worth £4m (or Rs 41.26 Crore) over five years.
The ECB announced the deal two years ago that would see the eight teams in The Hundred don the KP Snacks logo on their jerseys. However, since announcing KP Snacks as its main sponsor for The Hundred, the ECB has been in hot waters with health campaigners critiquing the move.
However, despite the ban, the inaugural season of The Hundred will be unaffected as it would be introduced only in 2022. But the ban could curtail the deal to just one year if the ban is introduced and sponsorship deals are considered.
When the deal was announced in 2019, former Sports Minister Nigel Adams besides health advocates such as the Obesity Health Alliance criticized ECB’s move in allowing such sponsorship. Obesity Health Alliance went on to say that “relentless exposure” to junk food marketing would have a direct impact on children’s food choice.
“It’s very disappointing from my perspective to see a salty snack firm sponsoring a new, exciting cricket competition, which is aimed at getting kids into the game. That was one dropped in the slips by the ECB,” Nigel Adams told Daily Mail.
The ECB has tried to combat the issue saying that the replica T-shirts sold to children won’t include KP snacks logo. It further added that the deal will rather help them engage and educate people about health and activity.
“The Hundred’s partnership with KP Snacks enables us to introduce cricket to more families and is based around getting people active. Investment from commercial partners plays a vital role in funding grassroots cricket,” an ECB spokesperson said.