Cricket: England's women sign 'historic' deal

England women's cricket team win the Ashes
England retained the Women's Ashes in January

The England women's cricket team have signed their first standalone sponsorship agreement in what they called an "historic deal".

The England and Wales Cricket Board would not disclose the exact value of the two-year deal with Kia Motors.

However the ECB said it was worth in excess of six figures per year.

Sports Minister Helen Grant praised the ECB and England players for securing the "ground-breaking partnership".

British women's deals in 2013
BeneficiarySponsorDeal lengthValue
FA Women's SuperleagueContinentalFive years£450,000
Zeo Netball SuperleagueZeoOne year£390,000
Tennis player Laura RobsonVirgin ActiveTwo years£195,000
Athlete Christine OhuruoguVirgin ActiveOne year£195,000
Athlete Jessica Ennis-HillSantanderOne year£195,000
Source: The World Sponsorship Monitor
British men's deals in 2013
BeneficiarySponsorDeal lengthValue
Chelsea FCAdidas10 years£280m
Golfer Rory McIlroyNike10 years£150m
Manchester United FCAONEight years£110m
The Football LeagueSky BetFive years£27.5m
The Premier LeagueCarlsbergThree years£23m
Source: The World Sponsorship Monitor

Other sponsorship arrangements with the women's team have been part of deals with the entire England set-up.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kia will become the sole title sponsor of England's home Test matches over the next two years,

The first is against India next month, followed by the Women's Ashes Test against Australia next summer.

Former captain Clare Connor, and now the ECB's head of women's cricket, said: "Major global brands want to be associated with winners, and it is fantastic that the team's outstanding performances on the field and growing media profile have enabled the England women's cricket to earn their first-ever standalone commercial deal."

England retained the Women's Ashes in Australia in January, while captain Charlotte Edwards was made a CBE and vice-captain Jenny Gunn an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June.

The Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation's latest research showed that only 0.4% of commercial investment goes to women-only sport.

Chief executive Ruth Holdaway applauded Kia's stance and called for other companies to be "brave" and invest in women's sport.

"When the figures are laid bare it becomes apparent how shocking it is and how women's sport is lacking in support even though the women are so successful and are such amazing role models," she told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"A deal like this is critically important to changing that and showing what can be achieved."

Listen to radio commentary of England women's cricket fixtures on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or at