“…Australian Test captain Michael Clarke holds his Harvey Norman bat in the air and salutes the Go Harvey Go crowd after hitting a 6-Month Interest Free six into the HarveyNorman.com.au grandstand, giving the Mac Now Pay Later Australians a commanding lead over the Camera Price Frenzy Indians in the @HarveyNormanAU first test here at the Joyce Mayne ‘Gabba in Brisbane…”

Iconic Australian retail group Harvey Norman was today confirmed as Fairfax major broadcasting partner for the upcoming summer of cricket, which will include a test series against India; one-day matches against India, South Africa and England; and T20 internationals against South Africa. Fairfax will also be broadcasting the intercity Big Bash League.

The sponsorship covers Fairfax media brands across radio and print, including 2UE, 3Aw, 4BC and 6PR; The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald; and new online only channel called News Talk Sport.

“Fairfax Radio Network’s cricket audience of more than 1.3 million people is a great fit for Harvey Norman,” said Harvey Norman executive director David Ackery in a media statement. “Australians are passionate about their cricket and after such a great season of cricket last summer, we expect everyone to get behind our team this summer and be avid listeners of Fairfax Radio’s great commentator line-up. Harvey Norman is pleased to be part of Australian cricket.”

“Our cricket coverage will be even bigger and better this season, with new additions to our expert commentary team who provide the best live calls and insights which makes our network a true cricket destination,” said Nick Randell, Fairfax national sales director. “We are delighted to welcome Harvey Norman as our cricket naming rights sponsor with a unique integrated partnership across Fairfax’s suite of assets. We are looking forward to another successful summer of cricket coverage.”

Although Fairfax’s commercial radio coverage will compete with the ad-free ABC, the proven success of populist formats commentating Australian Rules football and rugby league, often rating well-ahead of their publicly funded rivals, shows that a strong team of on-air talent can attract high ratings, providing great exposure for partner brands like Harvey Norman.

In the past, when Harvey Norman has sponsored a major sporting event or the coverage of such an event, it has done so with one of its major supplier brands as a partner. Examples include the Harvey Norman and Fujifilm sponsorship of rugby league’s State of Origin and the retailer’s recent venture in the A-League association football competition with Korean megabrand LG Electronics. It is not yet know if Harvey Norman is seeking a partner or for its sponsorship of Fairfax’s cricket coverage.