Cockspur rum has finalised a GBP1m (US$2.1m) three-year marketing deal with English Test cricket grounds.

The deal, confirmed late last week, includes six pitchside hoardings at each test match ground, the stocking of a pre-mixed rum punch in the bars and the chance for the Barbadian distiller to pour its top-end Cockspur 12 in the corporate boxes.

Cockspur, whose distribution in the UK is handled by Blavod Extreme Spirits, hopes that the programme will get the brand in front of over 1m cricket fans at the grounds, and a TV audience of 40m each year.

As the only spirits sponsor at the grounds, Cockspur hopes its exclusivity will enable it to become 'the spirit of English cricket', starting in 2008 and running until 2010. This will take in both the next Ashes tour (2009) and a tour by the West Indies in 2010.

'To take ownership of one area, as we are with the cricket, gives us good bang for our buck,' said David Smith, Cockspur's global brand director.