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Howzat! Essex does cricket, The Antigua Way
Date: 07 April 2011

"It's a match made in heaven" pronounced Minister of Tourism John Maginley as Antigua and Barbuda signed on as the Official Partner of Essex Cricket.

"We all know that Antigua and Barbuda has a rich cricketing tradition. We are known for producing some of the greatest internationally recognised cricketers. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for Antigua and Barbuda to work with a sport we are normally identified with, to strengthen our destination brand."

The Tourism Minister said he had reviewed the unique proposal, and is convinced that it would provide value for money. He congratulated the UK tourist office for aggressively pursuing the initiative.

Director of Tourism for the UK & Europe, Hilary Modeste and David East, Chief Executive of Essex County Cricket Club signed the agreement yesterday, April 6.

As a major sponsor of the Essex County Cricket Club, Antigua and Barbuda will receive a high level of brand exposure when thousands of spectators attend matches during the cricket season and for the remainder of 2011.

Boundary advertising boards in prime TV spots, posters throughout the grounds, strong web presence and "Antigua Days" at matches, are components of the extensive coverage package that have been agreed.

The UK & Europe Director of Tourism said: "The UK team is always looking for new and innovative ways of proactively promoting Antigua and Barbuda, that will reap tangible returns on our investment."

"We are capitalizing on our historic ties with cricket to raise our profile in the Essex community and the wider UK. With our office based in Essex, our aim is to ingrain ourselves into the minds of individuals in the county."

"National television coverage will also allow us to get inside homes of sports lovers throughout the UK, and deliver our message to persons in the household. We want to become their first choice when considering a holiday abroad."

Modeste added that, Antigua and Barbuda being associated with one of the leading county clubs in the UK was a feat that would not go unnoticed.

He said: "We are already receiving publicity from our association with the team."

Players of the Essex 1st team squad that include famous and talented England players Ashes hero Alastair Cook and Essex Cricket Captain James Foster, posed with Modeste and marketing manager Cherrie Osborne, during a media day this week.

The photo appeared in the sports section of the East Anglian Daily Times with the caption promoting the sunny island destination of Antigua and Barbuda as an alternative to the grey skies in Essex.

Cricket fans will learn more about Antigua and Barbuda when the full colour advertising boards are unveiled at the grounds for the start of the cricket season. The season starts April 8.

James Foster, Captain of the Essex Cricket team said: "In 2010, we were fortunate to play in front of packed crowds wherever we played our cricket in Essex. The atmosphere that is generated at our one-day games, especially Twenty20 is second to none."

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