Warwickshire T20 rebrand "risky but delivering significant revenues"

Warwickshire has received "significant" increases in direct revenue since it rebranded its Twenty20 cricket team to the Birmingham Bears in 2014 according to the county cricket club's commercial director Gareth Roberts, speaking in this week's SB Weekly podcast.

On March 29, ahead of the new season, the Edgbaston-based team will expand the Birmingham Bears brand with a new logo and merchandising line. This follows a rebranding of Edgbaston itself on March 22.

"We looked at the T20 product and we felt we weren't close enough to the city and the community with Warwickshire County Cricket Club...going to the Birmingham Bears created a city property that everyone could follow, and one that would bring us closer to South Asian communities and the community around Edgbaston," Roberts told SB Weekly.

"It was a bit risky, and a few members didn't like what we were doing - they felt we were moving away from tradition - but T20 is the format of the game that has allowed us to reach a different audience, one that is corporate and younger. As a result of the name change, younger people have come to Edgbaston - more families and more kids. That's what we see as the future of cricket."

In this week's SB Weekly Roberts also discusses how Edgbaston has evolved from a cricket stadium into an all-round leisure venue, reflects on his time at beer giant Carlsberg -  where he was director of UK sponsorship for eight years - and the evolution of sports sponsorship over the last two decades.