Hilton-Lancashire Cricket ‘Thunder’ing ties


Hilton and Lancashire Cricket extend partnership Image: Lancashire Cricket

Lancashire Cricket Club (UK) Official Hotel Partner Hilton has extended its partnership with the club for a further year, while also increasing its investment to support the Lancashire Thunder women’s team for the next three years.

‘Prolific North’ stated that a major part of the agreement will see Hilton provide investment to increase Lancashire Thunder’s squad of professional players to 16 – by funding four additional full-time contracts. The recipients of the contracts are set to be announced by the club in the coming days and will see Thunder lead the way with the most full-time professionals in England’s domestic women’s structure.

The Lancashire County Cricket Club represents the historic county of Lancashire in English cricket. The club has held first-class status since it was founded in 1864. Lancashire’s home is the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Stretford, England (UK) although the team also play matches at the other grounds around the county.

The 50,000-Old Trafford is a cricket ground in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England (UK). It opened in 1857 as the home of the Manchester Cricket Club and has been the home of Lancashire County Cricket Club since 1864. From 2013 onwards it has been known as the Emirates Old Trafford due to a sponsorship deal with the Emirates Airline.

McLean (US)-based Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a global brand of full-service hotels and resorts and the flagship brand of the American multinational hospitality company Hilton. The original company was founded by Conrad Hilton.

The North West Thunder, commonly referred to as Thunder, are a women’s cricket team that represent Lancashire and North West England, one of eight regional hubs in English domestic women’s cricket. They play their home matches at various grounds, including the Old Trafford Cricket Ground.

‘Prolific North’ further stated that the No Boundaries campaign, collaboration between Hilton and the Lancashire Thunder launched in 2023, will also continue under the renewed partnership. The campaign will continue to focus on breaking down barriers and offering the best possible support to the Thunder playing squad and pathway system, so they can stay at the top of their game.

So far, the No Boundaries campaign has created bespoke education and support packages, in addition to increased access to a sports doctor and nutritionist who specialize in the health of female athletes.

Work was recently completed to extend the onsite Hilton Garden Inn Manchester at the Emirates Old Trafford, which has been open since 2017, by a further 100 bedrooms taking the occupancy to 250 bedrooms and concluding the venue’s redevelopment over the last decade.

For the third year running, Hilton was the headline sponsor of the Lancashire Cricket and Thunder’s joint preseason tour to Dubai (UAE) and Bengaluru (India) which took place in March. The global hospitality company are also the new front of shirt sponsors on the Lancashire Thunder playing shirt, which was launched last month and worn for the first time during the preseason.

Stated Stijn Bastiaens, Vice-President (VP) Marketing and Loyalty, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Hilton, “We are so proud to continue our partnership with Lancashire Cricket and to be able to increase our support to the Lancashire Thunder team. We are thrilled to see the progress the team has made over the last few years. At Hilton, we are committed to building a more inclusive society for our guests, the team members, the partners, and the communities in which we operate in, which is why we have enhanced our sponsorship, allowing the Thunder to stay at the top of their game.”

Added Daniel Gidney, Chief Executive of Lancashire Cricket, “We are delighted to have extended our flagship partnership with Hilton and are incredibly excited by the increased funding they are providing to support our ever-growing Lancashire Thunder program as we look to continue to lead the way in the women’s domestic game and grow women’s cricket across the North West. After completing the extension of the Hilton Garden Inn Manchester at the Emirates Old Trafford’s, we are really pleased that we will be working together with Hilton for the next three years as they continue to support our Men’s and Women’s squads on the field. The four additional contracts being funded by Hilton will increase the Thunder’s squad to 16 professional players – currently the largest amongst the eight regions – and the benefit that this will have to the players themselves, and to the new Head Coach Chris Read, can’t be understated, as four more members of the squad are able to train and dedicate their time to cricket knowing they are secure financially.”

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