Cricket chiefs plot “game-changing” approach to sell to fans

International and domestic cricket bosses are putting customer experiences at the centre of their marketing strategies in 2013 to boost ticket sales.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is developing a series of strategies including marketing campaigns to promote county cricket clubs using insight from its customer engagement programme. The initiative was launched 18 months ago and the organisation plans on using the feedback captured to assess its wider marketing activity for county matches, ticket sales strategy and product development.

The organisation says that while its marketing will focus on this summer’s Ashes Test series, the “customer-centric” approach to marketing will “hopefully” have a “positive impact” on the wider game – both county and recreational.

Karina Murtagh, business change manager at the ECB, adds that the business is using customer insight “more than ever before” to guide decision-making on how to drive commercial growth through fan engagement.

“We recognised a few years ago that cricket, like many other sports in the UK, was behind the pace in the management of customer relationships. We operate in an increasingly competitive marketplace, so the ECB and county cricket clubs are becoming even more focused on creating sustainable businesses by adopting a more customer-centric approach.”

It is hoped the strategy will generate more interest in international test-matches aside other than the Ashes - tickets for this summer’s series with Australia have already sold out but organisers are still trying to sell seats at England’s matches with Ireland and New Zealand - as well as in county cricket.

Meanwhile, the International Cricket Council, the governing body of world cricket, has overhauled its ticket sales and marketing strategies to provide its commercial team more insight into how to maximise match-day attendances for its one-day international tournament the Championship Trophy in June.

The data driven strategy will profile customer segments as well as identify key barriers to purchase in real-time, before being used to create personalised campaigns. It marks a shift in focus for the governing body, which has previously sold to fans through direct marketing channels such as email.

The initiative, developed in partnership with sports marketing specialists Two Circles, could be rolled out to its global campaigns.

Steve Elworthy, tournament director, adds: “The Olympics showed the importance of full stadiums and arenas to create the best atmosphere for top class sport. Cricket will take centre stage in 2013 and we have to plan ahead to take full advantage of this opportunity and promote what a great day out the ICC Champions Trophy will be with capacity crowds.”

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