Whether cricket or any sport, World Cups are the grandest stage for brands ranging from cars to smartphones.
Once upon a time, sports were limited to playing the game and claiming glory. However, in recent years, sports have become commercialised. Therefore, for any brand ranging from smartphones to automobiles, World Cups are the grandest stage. In cricket, it is a money game, with brands offering blank cheques to organisations in a bid to advertise their products.
Over the years, while several brands have played sponsors in the ICC Cricket World Cups, the cameras often focus on one sponsor in particular: the car brand, which acts as the official car of the tournament. In the following paragraphs, let us take you through the official vehicles of the cricket World Cups in recent years.
First and foremost is the official car of this year’s World Cup to be hosted by India in our motherland. For 2023, the official car is Nissan’s Magnite. Currently, the Magnite is the only offering from Nissan in India.
The Japanese manufacturer offers the vehicle in two variants: the first is a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder naturally aspirated engine that churns out a peak power of 71hp. The second variant is a turbo-petrol engine, which puts out a whopping 99hp power figure.
Nissan has been like a hawk in capturing the designation of the tournament’s official car partner. In 2019, when England and Wales hosted the tournament, the official car was the Nissan Kicks.
Unfortunately, the compact SUV has been discontinued, but back then, the car used to flaunt engines with 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre capacities. The power figures ranged between 104hp and 153hp. During the World Cup, Nissan gave the audience a closer look at the Klicks because, at that point, the car was due for an official launch.
Hyundai’s fleet of vehicles
In 2011, Hyundai secured a deal with the ICC to become the official partner of the association’s all-round tournaments. Therefore, in 2015, Hyundai was the official car partner but chose not to display just one car.
Instead, the South Korean manufacturer offered a fleet of cars, including models such as the Santa Fe, ix35, i40 Wagon, and iMax van. That is not all, as Hyundai also offered 94 vehicles meant to be used by officials and players.
Moving back to 2011, given that India hosted the tournament, it was Hyundai’s Indian branch, i.e., Hyundai Motor India Limited (HMIL), that acted as the car partner. Like 2015, Hyundai chose not to showcase only one car and instead displayed models such as the i10, Santa Fe, Verna, and the international favourite Sonata.
Despite searching rigorously through the internet and YouTube videos, an official car partner could not be spotted for the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. However, it was the year when brand wars started, and Hero Honda grabbed the opportunity. The company advertised its CBZ motorcycle massively, a model that was launched way back in 1993.
Since the 2007 edition had no car partner, we look at the 2003 tournament. Toyota was the official car partner of the tournament, but the tournament did feature an official car. Instead, Toyota was tasked with providing a fleet of Toyota cars for the transportation of players and officials.
The fleet comprised 51 RunX hatchbacks, 22 Corollas, 20 Camrys, and 51 Condors, as reported by CricInfo.
Given the importance of the World Cup stage, bidding wars among car companies have started for future World Cups. It will be interesting to see which car brand wins the right to flaunt its models at the 2027 World Cup, jointly hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.