Bangladesh only confirmed the tour to Kenya in the first week of June (not surprisingly, it was Zimbabwe that were blamed for the delay) leaving Cricket Kenya only a month and a half to tie up sponsorship and arrange TV coverage for the tour. Despite the short time, Cricket Kenya were keen to go ahead as they did not want Kenya to lose the tour. Budgeting for the matches themselves was not the problem as has been reported previously. In fact, Cricket Kenya are confident that they could cover costs for the matches through a title sponsor, raising revenue by adverts in a brochure, signage around the ground and, of course, ticket sales. What they felt was lacking was television coverage. Cricket Kenya feel that in order to raise the profile of the game this is a necessity. It will not only raise the image, but would also significantly increase the revenue from sponsorship. Plus it would give the benefit of a third umpire with TV referrals.
With neither of the local stations able to provide the sophisticated equipment needed, there is a need to bring in an outside broadcaster who has the experience of covering cricket and the equipment to do so. In short, the costs of this once the revenue from the broadcaster have been taken out would still see Cricket Kenya needing to raise around $180 000 just to break even if they want the matches televised. Even many of the established countries would find this too dear. Moving the dates back gives Cricket Kenya more time to sort out a number of issues relating to sponsorship. On a basic level, it allows for the organisation of a brochure, approach to advertisers for this and ground signage, ticket sales and corporate hospitality boxes to be finalised to a higher standard. More significantly, it gives Cricket Kenya and OgilvyOne, their marketing agents, more time deal with the major sponsors. Both cricket Kenya and the broadcaster are in negotiations with a variety of large corporate organisations regarding sponsorship (I have been asked to withhold names for confidentiality reasons), and we should hopefully hear good news before too long.
To my mind, Cricket Kenya have gone about this in the right manner. Rather than simply going ahead with a series 'just because', they are trying to do it right. It has meant some nifty manoeuvring is and was required, but if it means that the matches are televised and promoted to their best effect, it will certainly be worth it. There is vast potential for growth of cricket in Kenya, but for this to happen the administration will need to make the most of every opportunity. In this instance at least, it appears that is exactly what they are trying to do.