With the commencement of the 2018/19 domestic cricket season upon us, Hollywoodbets have committed to sponsoring both the KwaZulu-Natal Coastal and the KwaZulu-Natal Inland senior provincial teams for the duration of the season.
Hollywoodbets, who are title sponsors of the Dolphins franchise, took on the title sponsorship for the Coastal and Inland teams for the 2017 Africa T20 Cup, but will in 2018 take on the role of title sponsors throughout the three campaigns that both sides will be competing in.
The 2017/18 season was unprecedented for senior provincial cricket in the province with Inland winning the Africa T20 Cup and the Coastal side winning the national 3-Day Cup.
"Our motivation for the decision came through the results that we have seen coming out of KZN cricket over the past 12 months," Hollywoodbets Media and Communications Executive Devin Heffer mentioned. "The guys are showing great passion and energy as well as forming a terrific culture amongst their squads.
"It's also brilliant to see how well both the KZN Coastal and Inland teams are playing off each other. There is a good competitive nature growing here and it is exciting to see."
The Inland and Coastal sides both had strong seasons in different tournaments last season and Heffer was impressed how the two teams dove-tailed, however he would like to see both sides fighting it out against one another for trophies this season.
“Another motivation for us was how both teams won trophies. From Inland winning and representing the province and the brand well on the pitch and off the pitch was great to see.
“Then with Roger (Telemachus) and his team winning the 3-day competition it has given us motivation to get behind our senior provincial teams.”
It is often unheard of having a sponsored senior provincial side and President of the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union Ben Dladla is hoping that the relationship between KZN Cricket and Hollywoodbets can continue to flourish.
“If you want to produce a strong product at the end of the day then you have to look at the pipeline and having a company like Hollywoodbets on board encourages them to give their best on and off the field.
“We are really excited about this season’s partnership and maybe we can look at increasing the sponsorship!” Dladla quipped.
Coach of the defending champion Hollywoodbets KZN Inland team Shane Burger feels that the professionalism that comes with having a sponsor before your name is a big motivation for the players.
“Just knowing that we had the support of Hollywoodbets last year during the Africa Cup motivated us and definitely gave us an edge going into the tournament.
“The players and staff members embraced it and the whole relationship felt right and I have no doubt that having sponsors like Hollywoodbets helped us in that manner.
“It is unheard of in this day and age to have a sponsor come on board like this, especially with the senior provincial teams. I think it will give the franchise a massive boost and I am sure that will help all the teams in the union kick on this year,” Burger commented.
CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Heinrich Strydom is excited that the union and Hollywoodbets will be growing their already successful partnership.
“It is such a privilege to keep expanding our partnership with this incredible company and its amazing staff," Strydom commented. "They have added immense value to cricket in KZN through their energy, passion, knowledge and a hunger to make a difference in the KZN community.”
Both the Hollywoodbets KZN Inland and Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal have been drawn in Group A of the Africa T20 Cup and will be in action this weekend at the Pietermaritzburg Oval.