A new partnership between leading hotel group Suncani Hvar Hotels and Lashings
announced on the latter's website on May 30, 2012, is the latest raising of the profile of Croatia's premier island, in a sponsorship deal which could be worth £250,000 over two years.
Hvar, named by Lonely Planet as its number 5 destination for 2012, has cultivated an exclusive image and is one of the main celebrity destinations on the Adriatic coast, with 2011 high profile visitors Prince Harry and Beyonce making global headlines during their visits to Hvar.
Its celebrity credentials were enhanced last week, as Hvar Mayor Pjerino Bebic was pictured with Bernie Ecclestone and Eric Clapton at the Monaco Grand Prix, who both joined the mayor and Ivan Gospodnetic of Restaurant Gariful for dinner on a private boat.
Announcing the partnership, Lashings chairman David Folb
“We are absolutely delighted to have agreed a partnership with Suncani Hvar Hotels. Hvar is the new St.Tropez and the jewel of Adriatic. It is an absolutely stunning island and the Suncani Hvar Hotels are the best I have ever visited.”
"We're thrilled to be unveiled as a Lashings sponsor," said Roko Palmic, Commercial Head at Suncani Hvar. "Lashings are known all around the world and we feel their international profile is ideally suited to our rapidly growing brand."
As part of the deal, Lashings will wear the Suncani Hvar logo on their shirts, and the hotel's banners will appear in 30 cricket grounds around the UK. The partnership brings together two unlikely cricket stories which are separated by two centuries.
Not known for its cricket, sporting buffs are often surprised to learn that the oldest cricket club in Europe
outside the UK is on Hvar's neighbouring island, Vis, which recently celebrated it bi-centenary, having been established by stationed British military personnel.
The history of Lashings is no less intriguing, and has its roots in owner Folb's willingness to assemble a scratch team at short notice to fulfill a fixture after a visiting team had pulled out. Lashings were thrashed on the day, but Folb grew the team from that inauspicious start to a formidable local force, one which was enhanced considerably when he signed former West Indian captain Richie Richardson to play for Lashings.
The rest is history and a string of cricketing stars have represented Lashings, including Sachin Tendulkar, Alvin Kallicharan, Jimmy Adams, Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram, Allan Donald and Sir Viv Richards, as the club has developed into a slick corporate outfit.
Lashings also expressed the hope that cricket on the Dalmatian islands will be boosted by a proposed tour of Hvar in the near future.