Marketing England one-day matches in 2012

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The marketing men and women have got a tough task on their hands trying to generate interest in England’s 13 one-day internationals and four Twenty20 internationals next summer.

This is because:

  1. There are far, far, far too many matches
  2. No-one in England gives a toss about short-form cricket outside of the respective World Cups

Fortunately, we have a solution. Our 2012 England one-day cricket marketing masterplan is built on the twin pillars of rebranding and innovation.

The innovation comes in the form of England’s player selection. Rather than taking the tired old route of selecting the best 11 players eligible for England, why not instead select a team calculated to foster local interest?

Take the third one-day international against Australia, for example. This will take place at Edgbaston, so why not select a few Warwickshire players? Start with the captain, Jim Troughton, and then continue with a few more – about 10 more, say.

Next, the rebranding. Sticking with that same match, instead of the team being called ‘England’, it could be called ‘Warwickshire’. They could even play in different kit – the Warwickshire one-day kit, say.

The fixtures could also be rebranded from ‘one-day internationals’ to ‘tour matches’. This would help promote those that retained their full international status. It’s an old marketing trick: when something appears scarce, people want it more.

Conversely, when something appears commonplace…


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  1. England have never won the ODI World Cup and haven’t had an even faintly successful campaign for same since 1992.

    England have historically played far fewer ODIs than the other major teams.

    The ECB will fill (or near-fill) grounds for all those ODIs and T20Is – there is no evidence of crowd fatigue even if there might be some TV-viewing and/or Cricinfo/Ceefax following fatigue.

    The crime, though, is only playing three tests against the Saffers next summer. I’d trade all-but-three of those ODIs for one more Saffer test.

    But it is not up to me. If it were, every day would be the first day of spring.

    1. The crowd fatigue shows in other matches. The West Indies Tests probably won’t be full houses and it’s not because it’s them or because they’re being played in May and June or whatever – it’s because there’s too much cricket.

      Whatever the format, it’s all cricket – that’s what people forget. There is too much cricket.

  2. There can never be too much cricket! This year has seen many new players from around the country who grew up in club cricket being given the chance to play at the top level. Young players finally believe they will have a chance to progress to the top and not have to sit on the sidelines whilst English international cricket is represented by imports from South Africa, and maybe the odd one here and there from the right schools. There is still an element of this but with the amount of cricket being played it’s giving a wider range of people the chance to progress and this enthusiasm is filtering down to kids – there was cricket played in my local park every weekend in the summer, and my daughter’s school team is thriving.

    1. If the make-up of the national side is deterring young people from playing club cricket, that is a different matter and the solution isn’t to give more players caps.

  3. OK – on the subject of marketing ODIs – I’m in Mumbai and want to get tickets for India v England on October 23rd. Anyone know how?

    Been down to the Wankhede: “check the internet”.
    Checked the internet quite a lot: No joy.
    Called and mailed the MCA and BCCI: hung up on and not replied to.

    Is there a moment when tickets will suddenly be available? Can anyone help

    Yours in the parched lands


  4. I have attended many ODIs and have enjoyed them all. I go with my mates and drink too much lager. I talk to strangers, and very occasionally I have sung songs. We laugh at the “Real Tennis” player we have christened “the Colonel” because of his facial hair. We always try to chat up the N Power girls. Afterwards, my mates and I might drunkenly ride Boris bikes across Vauxhall Bridge. It is always much better when it is sunny.
    In an Ashes test, I want to hammer the Aussies. I want them all out for 84 and following on before lunch. In the words of Tony Greig, I want them to beg. This is in the same way that Southampton wants to hammer Portsmouth and Man United wants to hammer City. These are the games that matter. Test Matches and the World Cup fall into this category.
    The best result for an ODI is a good, close and entertaining game, the position reserved for the impartial supporter in any other sporting contest. The mistake with the ODI is to elevate its importance beyond its actual significance. ODIs are to be judged on the fullness of the ground and the weather rather than the performance of my team. If it turns out to be a great game, then that is the icing on the cake.
    Once you have accepted this, it should simply come down to logistics around the important matches. For example, if you want England to win the World Cup then do not make them play 7 ODIs in Australia over nearly two months, ending a week before the competition (which is in a different continent) and immediately after a grueling and victorious Ashes Test Match Series.
    But then any fucking Muppet would know that wouldn’t they?

  5. Personally I think that the ECB need to take a page from the BCCI. Just as the BCCI have quite sensibly honoured the great arts of medium-pace bowling and hard-hitting lower-middle-order batsmanship by holding the Irani Cup, England should rebrand not the side, but each match.

    Instead of playing a one-day series, each visiting side should play a whole group of one-off trophies named after the great England stars of the 1990s. The Ealham Cup, the CC Lewis Trophy, even the Cork Shield (only -1 to Armor Class though).

    And of course the Rob Key Plate, laden with choice sweetmeats and sure to prompt a hard-hitting century from Jacques Kallis.

    1. As a small child, I was hugely disappointed to learn that the Irani Cup wasn’t actually named after Ronnie Irani.

  6. i had a conversation with a friend the other day on a similar subject. in the last couple of years, i have found myself less and less interested in county cricket. i am now primarily an England fan, the amount of games that they play means that i can support them on a weekly basis in a way similar to how others may follow a football club etc.

  7. Aussies playing some of them should be an easy sell.

    The Aussies hock their arse for two match test series and stand alone ODI’s to anyone these days. It’s an admission how cut-rate as a team they are.

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