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Yorkshire transformed into Vikings for t20 season
Yorkshire have confirmed themselves as the Vikings in limited overs cricket ahead of the forthcoming county season, which starts next month.
But the White Rose side will play under the new name, unveiled at the Jorvik Centre in York yesterday, for the first time during their pre-season tour of Barbados, where their first match is against Hampshire Royals on March 16.
Now the club’s commercial team will turn their attention to securing a naming rights partner for their Headingley ground in conjunction with Leeds Rugby.
Yorkshire have changed their limited overs name from Carnegie to Vikings for the Yorkshire Bank 40 and the Friends Life t20 competitions after their sponsorship deal with Leeds Metropolitan University expired, and the stadium naming rights are part of that.
This is all despite the fact that Vikings was not part of a list put to supporters last October when they asked fans to choose their new name via a website poll.
Commercial director Andy Dawson said that the poll had been sabotaged by Lancashire fans, forcing them to bring the decision back in house.
“We obviously wanted something with links to Yorkshire, and the Vikings have left a legacy in the county,” he explained.
“We wanted something which was marketable and something that would add to the match-day experience, that we could have fun with.
“We also wanted something that would be educational, and the Vikings are on the national curriculum in schools at Key Stage one, two and three.
“We also wanted something we could turn into a mascot who could identify with the children and have a chance of winning the mascot race at Finals Day later this summer.”
Dawson was actually meeting a potential naming rights partner yesterday afternoon following the launch that saw players Andrew Gale, Ryan Sidebottom, Adam Lyth and Moin Ashraf walk through the Coppergate area of York in their new kits accompanied by Vikings roaring Yorkshire at the top of their voices.
“As things stand, Carnegie doesn’t have a contract with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, although they do with Leeds Rugby,” continued Dawson.
“The naming rights at the moment means that it is Headingley Carnegie stadium, but it is very much Headingley cricket ground as things stand.
“The relationship between them and Leeds Rugby continues, but I understand Carnegie would be willing to step aside if a suitable brand wants to get involved with the clubs. We are actively looking for prospective partners.
“It is a major priority of mine to secure someone as quickly as we can. I would have thought we should have someone in place between the Test match and the ODI this summer.
“We’re looking for a local brand, but one big enough to invest the type of money we’re looking for. We’re obviously doing this in association with Leeds Rugby, and we want it to be a term of seven years plus so that we can incorporate the Ashes in 2019 within that.”
As part of the Vikings name change, Yorkshire have agreed a partnership with the Jorvik Centre where both organisations will develop a number of promotional initiatives throughout the season.
Terrier Gale’s pillage cricket welcome
CAPTAIN Andrew Gale, an ardent Huddersfield Town fan, raved about the change.
Said Gale: “I think the name’s brilliant, and it raises Yorkshire’s profile.
“I did actually suggest we go down the Terriers route, but I don’t think it would have gone down well with the Leeds United fans.
“But, seriously, I think the Vikings is a great fit and very marketable.
“We want to get young faces through the gates at Headingley, and you can just see it now – a Roses Twenty20 match with 20,000 on and all the kids with helmets on and horns.
“The place will be absolutely buzzing.”