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FICA and Winners Alliance Forge Historic Partnership to Protect and Optimize Global Commercial Rights of Cricketers

10 Jan 2024 - by FICA in FICA MEDIA RELEASES, FICA NEWS

Athlete-centric Winners Alliance to represent and manage select collective rights of 500+ cricketers from across the 13 FICA-affiliated countries worldwide

Cricketer and marketing executive, Tim Cruickshank, appointed Winners Alliance VP of Commercial Partnerships, Asia-Pacific, as the company opens first international office in Australia

Melbourne, Australia, January 11, 2024 – Winners Alliance today announced an exclusive, long-term global commercial partnership with the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA). This unprecedented collaboration with cricketers marks a significant milestone in the history of the sport. Winners Alliance will represent and manage select global group rights for more than 500 of the world’s best cricketers from across FICA’s 13 country affiliates, with the goal of optimizing players’ collective commercial value through novel marketing and licensing opportunities. The partnership follows the recent aggregation and acquisition of relevant player rights via FICA’s commercial arm, FICA Global Player Rights Ltd, working in collaboration with players, their national associations and agents around the world.

Among its first initiatives with FICA, Winners Alliance will create a sustainable group licensing program encompassing video games, trading cards, collectibles, and various related categories. This is the first player-led and endorsed group licensing program combining the name, image and likeness (NIL) rights of professional cricketers around the world. In addition, Winners Alliance will provide direct funding to FICA, which will assist the association’s core advocacy work and ensure better protections for players globally into the future.

“We’re thrilled to team up with FICA to generate new, innovative commercial opportunities for cricketers worldwide,” said Eric Winston, President of Winners Alliance. “Cricket’s global popularity speaks for itself, and its prominence will only continue to grow. We’re excited for all the possibilities this new partnership presents, and we’re looking forward to driving untapped value to cricketers across the entire cricket ecosystem.”

Tom Moffat, Chief Executive of FICA, said: “Winners Alliance is led by the best in the world, with a proven track record of running player-led group licensing programs. We’re excited to be working with the Winners team to spearhead our first global group licensing program on behalf of cricketers worldwide. We’re also excited about the multi-sport opportunities this partnership will bring and know that Winners Alliance will be a key part of helping us to protect and optimise value for players affiliated to FICA and the game.”

Neeta Sreekanth, Chief Growth & Development Officer of Winners Alliance, added: “Winners Alliance is committed to innovation and focusing on the athlete’s best interest. This groundbreaking venture with FICA is a testament to the mission and strength of Winners Alliance. This partnership is designed to organize a previously-fragmented group rights structure in a dominant global sport, transforming it into a first-of-its-kind opportunity to work with professional cricketers around the world as a collective.”

Pat Cummins, Australia Men’s Cricket Captain, stated: “This is an amazing opportunity for cricketers globally. We’ve seen other sports and athletes benefit from and prove the success of group licensing models, including in the US sports and now in tennis. We’re really happy to be behind a new wave of collective global marketing and licensing opportunities for players and the sport through FICA and its partnership with Winners Alliance.”

Jos Buttler, England Men’s White Ball Cricket Captain, said: “Collectivising certain group commercial rights globally has made complete sense for cricketers affiliated to FICA, to help to stop unauthorised use of player image and attributes, and to generate new opportunities for players and the whole game. We’re looking forward to being part of the Winners group, and to other athletes joining the cricketers and tennis players in time.”

Sophie Devine, New Zealand Women’s Cricket Captain, added: “Players increasingly understand the benefits and importance of working together collectively across countries through FICA and we can’t wait to see what new and player-centric opportunities Winners Alliance generates.”

FICA is the second players association to team up with Winners Alliance since its establishment in 2022. Winners Alliance focuses on optimizing, protecting, and maximizing athletes’ collective value through the creation of novel, athlete-centric group licensing, partnership, sponsorship, content, event and investment opportunities. Following the collaboration with the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) in August 2022, Winners Alliance pioneered the first-ever group licensing program in professional tennis history. This initiative has led to various opportunities for tennis players globally, partnering with premier brands such as Fanatics Collectibles (Topps), TUMI, and La-Roche Posay.

To spearhead its expansion and collaboration with athletes worldwide, Winners Alliance has appointed veteran cricketer and marketing executive Tim Cruickshank as Vice President of Commercial Partnerships, Asia-Pacific. Based in the new Sydney office, Cruickshank will oversee Winners Alliance’s commercial efforts in the region, shaping strategies for the company’s marketing and licensing initiatives.

“I’m delighted to join Winners Alliance and to continue working to empower athletes with new commercial opportunities,” said Cruickshank. “Winners Alliance is establishing itself as a global leader in creating scalable opportunities that are impactful for world-class athletes and brands alike. I’m eager to continue to expand that impact in the Asia-Pacific region and we are looking forward to connecting players with top-class partners to establish healthy and long-term relationships.”

Before joining Winners Alliance, Cruickshank played a pivotal role in the growth of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, serving as executive general manager of the Cricketers’ Brand, a business arm developed to manage players’ intellectual property and generate commercial outcomes. A former cricketer, Cruickshank represented the New South Wales Blues from 2010-2014 and the Sydney Thunder during the inaugural season of the Big Bash League.

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About Winners Alliance

Winners Alliance is a global, athlete-centric commercial solution focused on optimizing, protecting, and maximizing athletes’ collective value through the creation of novel group licensing, partnership, sponsorship, content, event and investment opportunities. Launched in August 2022, Winners Alliance serves as the for-profit affiliate of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) and Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), representing the group commercial rights of hundreds of athletes worldwide and creating scalable commercial opportunities that are impactful for athletes and brands alike. To learn more, visit www.winnersalliance.com and follow @WinnersAlliance on LinkedIn, Instagram and X.

About the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations

FICA is the world players’ body in cricket. Established in 1998, FICA is a democratic player-driven organisation that brings together the world’s ‘organised’ professional cricketers under an international body which focuses on matters that affect the players collectively, and the global game. FICA cares about:

Players: Serving players’ collective interests globally

The Game: Positively influencing the direction of the global game

Players’ Associations: Strengthening and growing

To learn more, visit www.thefica.com

Media Contacts

For Winners Alliance: david.cooper@winnersalliance.com

For FICA: media@thefica.com

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