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Global Sports Commerce clinches global commercial rights to CSA T20 tournament

Cricket South Africa has announced a wide-ranging commercial rights deal with Global Sports Commerce which includes international media rights and global sponsorship rights to CSA’s Mzansi Super League T20 competition.

GSC’s deal is for five years, from 2018 to 2022. GSC will also be responsible for producing matches and distributing the international feed, and will assist with event management and hospitality.

Negotiations between CSA and the Singapore-based agency began last month. GSC and its subsidiaries have almost no experience in media-rights sales, but plenty in sponsorship and sports marketing. GSC has strong relationships with brands in key markets such as South Africa and India.

It is understood that GSC subsidiary ITW Consulting – an Indian sports marketing agency – will lead sponsorship sales for the competition. GSC also holds a stake in South African sports marketing agency Megapro, a local sponsorship and advertising specialist, which will be responsible for sourcing local sponsors and advertisers.

The deal aligns with CSA’s decision to give its domestic media rights to public-service broadcaster SABC in return for a large share of advertising revenue. The competition will begin as a sponsorship and advertiser-funded league with a view to earning media-rights fees over the next few seasons.

While global distribution isn’t a priority in the competition’s first season, a media-rights deal in the Indian subcontinent covering at least 2018-19 will be essential to attracting Indian brands to the competition.

CSA’s deal with GSC confirms that the IMG agency – CSA’s commercial rights consultant – will not be involved in the new competition. The league will begin on November 19.