The County Cricket Ground Name Awards

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4 minute read
St Lawrence Ground, Kent (Sarah Ansell)

It’s high time someone handed out a bunch of awards to the various county grounds for their names.

A couple of ground rules.

  • Rule one: Only one award per ground
  • Rule two: No googling. The jury will not be finding out who the hell any of the sponsors are if they don’t already know

Now let’s get started with absolutely all the way the easiest award of all.

Coolest sponsor – The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, Kent

This isn’t even up for debate. The sponsor of Kent’s ground is (a) a perfectly drinkable beer, (b) a perfectly drinkable beer named after an aeroplane, and (c) a perfectly drinkable beer named after the coolest-named aeroplane of all.

Most misleadingly named ground – The 1st Central County Ground, Sussex

Sussex is not in any way central.

Typography awards

We’re actually going to have to make this a whole section of its own, which we’re pretty sure says something about (a) the nature of sponsorship and (b) the state of the frigging world.

Most offensively noisily named ground – The SSE SWALEC, Glamorgan. Shh, be quiet. What’s the matter with you? Have you got caps lock stuck on or something?

Ground name that basically looks like a typo – The 3aaa County Ground, Derbyshire. Our cat’s feet have typed more meaningfully than this.

Most contemporary abuse of the basic structure of the English language – The Cloudfm County Ground, Essex. There are three things that modern marketers hate above all else. (1) Spaces between words where there should be spaces. (2) Upper case letters where there should be upper case letters. (3) The correct part of speech at the end of a slogan or tagline (which doesn’t actually apply here, but the other two reminded us of this).

It is an absolute piece of piss to write a slogan these days. All you have to do is use the wrong part of speech for that final word. Let’s make some up. No idea what these would be for. They could probably apply to anything.

  • Remember amazing
  • Believe in extraordinary
  • Discover incredible

(We were aiming for gibberish but still had to google the second one because when we read it back we felt like someone had maybe actually used it for real. Turns out there’s a Tracey Emin sketch of a small bird called Believe in Extraordinary which was made to celebrate Team GB’s participation at the first European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan. It’s not very good, but you can get a print of it for £2,000.)

Ground most likely to have been named after a character from the film Rushmore – Fischer County Ground, Leicestershire

No idea who or what Fischer is. Our best guess is Max Fischer from Rushmore, played by Jason Schwartzman, which we are well aware is a very bad guess.

Here’s a needless shot of Max Fischer to break up the text a bit.

We haven’t watched Rushmore in ages.

Most overblown and utterly misleading name for a ground – The County Ground, Northamptonshire

The County Ground? THE County Ground? Take a look at the rest of this page. You are in fact A County Ground.

Most unlikely sponsor – Lord’s Cricket Ground, Middlesex

Who’d have thought that the Home of Corks would (a) stoop to sponsorship and (b) choose an Australian heavy metal band from Wollongong as the sponsor.

(Having trawled through their discography, our favourite Lord song title has to be By George! from their 2003 album A Personal Journey. Our second favourite is The Battle of Venarium from 2013’s Digital Lies. Sadly, none of their other song titles are really much good.)

Mystery sponsor awards

  1. Ageas Bowl, Hampshire – We’re about 80 per cent certain it’s insurance, but we wouldn’t bet heavily on that
  2. The Brightside Ground, Gloucestershire – Initially thought it was white goods, but think that’s actually Brighthouse
  3. Emerald Headingley, Yorkshire – Honestly no idea
  4. Blackfinch New Road, Worcestershire – Cider? No, that’s Blackthorn, isn’t it? No idea
  5. The Cooper Associates County Ground, Somerset– Solicitors or something? This one’s really opaque and unfamiliar

Most international – a tie!

We believe that Emirates Riverside, Durham, and Emirates Old Trafford, Lancashire, are both named after an airline.

Must try harder/be greedier for sponsorship money – a tie!

  • Edgbaston, Warwickshire
  • Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Greatest missed opportunity – the Kia Oval, Surrey

As with Ageas, we feel like this is probably going to be insurance, but really only because that’s generally the safest bet when it comes to cricket sponsorship. Could be a car – there’s a car called a Kia, right? Also could be a soft drink and they’re going for a Kia Ora/Kia Oval thing.

None of this matters. What matters is that they should have sought out sponsorship by the Belgian beer, Orval.

Surrey should absolutely 100 per cent play at the Orval. And they should sell Orval there. And also in all other cricket grounds. At an affordable price.


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  1. I sometimes feel that not liking beer may leave me as a bit of an outsider on this blog.

    Either way, excellent hard-hitting journalism, this. Good to know somebody’s covering the county cricket issues that actually matter.

    1. [Blocks Balladeer for his outlandish position]

      [Unblocks Balladeer after then seeing his excellent taste in ‘journalism’]

  2. Somerset’s perpetual shortening of the ground name to the CACG on social media feeds really grates. Not only does this present a mental pronunciation stumbling block but it does so while failing to actually name the brand, rendering it pointless. Who’s going to google CACG? No-one, that’s who.

    Some more of my favourite slogans:

    McAfee – Together is power
    Emirates – Hello Tomorrow!
    Poland – move your imagination
    Time Warner – enjoy better
    Burger King – Be your way
    Rightmove – find your happy

    At least advertisers are finally recognising they need something more to sell their brand than someone playing the ukulele while someone else whistles over the top and another person does handclaps or clicks their fingers.

    1. Hadn’t seen the McAfee one. That’s a particularly fine example. Togetherness? No? Just go with ‘together’, you dicks. Time Warner and Rightmove also classics of the genre, as is whatever Deliveroo are using at the minute, which instantly annoyed us but which we then almost-as-instantly forgot.

      1. ‘Memorable Moments’? Evidently not!

        Deliveroo felt their ‘identity needed to work a lot harder’. As part of this, they’ve apparently rebranded the kangaroo (rebadged it, you fool!) which surprised me as I’d assumed the logo was meant to represent the two fingers they stick up to such trivial irritations as workers’ rights and fair employment terms.

      2. It wasn’t Memorable Moments we were thinking of. It was a wrong-part-of-speech one, but it was so bland and meaningless it was impossible to commit to memory.

        Believe in amazing? Discover amazing? Experience incredible?

        It was pretty much auto-generated according to the template. You’ll know it when you see it.

      3. Interestingly, the Rightmove one can be corrected in two ways:

        Find your happiness
        Find you’re happy

        So not only is it wrong, it is also ambiguous. What are they trying to tell us, that we can find something or that we are something?

  3. There should be more Wes Anderson/Cricket overlap in the world (something something Venn Diagram), it seems like a County Championship game at a seaside out-ground like Colwyn Bay or Blackpool is pretty much as Wes Andersonnish as it gets, no?

      1. Bill Murray as umpire, Jeff Goldblum coaches, Schwartzman and L. Wilson open. O. Wilson and A. Huston are middle order. Keitel cleans up and Bruce Willis is the ‘X-factor’. Brody – mystery spinner and Norton – the conventional one. Swinton and Dafoe are the seam bowlers.

      2. Oh, I’d always thought he’d a bit of England in him. He’s a born and raised Texan with Swedish and Norwegian ancestry.

      3. Surely not, Ameya…

        …Laurence Elderbrook is as “roast beef of old England” as they come…

        …or are you talking about Wes Anderson? 😉

  4. IIRC, Emerald is a publisher that specializes in boring stuff no one wants to read. There’s also at least three other companies called Emerald and I think Yorkshire missed a trick in not asking all of them for money.

    1. Oy, I’ll have you know that my alter ego theoretically sits on the editorial board of one of those impenetrable Emerald journals that no-one wants to read.

      I say “theoretically”, because I have never been asked to edit anything in about 15 years of theoretically being on the editorial board. Which is just as well, because I have never understood any of the articles in that journal, apart from its serialisation of our comedy management novel Clean Business Cuisine:

      Anyway, how dare YOU say that about Emerald, Fried.

      1. I was going to defend myself by saying it’s what I remember from reading a boring article on the YCCC website that probably no one else has read, but they wouldn’t write such a thing about their new sponsors, presumably, and more importantly, why on earth would *I* have read that article?

      2. Even more importantly, Fried, why on earth would you feel the need to defend yourself against my tongue-in-cheek rant.

      3. ‘Need’ may be overstating it. Anyway, just went to the Somerset website and, apart from showing rain instead of cricket, they say, “Good morning from the CACG!”

  5. All these slogans should be Verb-Determiner-Adverb, but for reasons unknown outside of their open-plan offices, these people have decided to make them Verb-Determiner-Adjective. Maybe it’s the jarring nature of them that appeals, in that they think that the wrongness will make people stop and think. They haven’t realised that in fact they make people stop, think and kill.

    Anyway, they are easy to generate. Here, for example, are exactly 992 grammatically incorrect slogans, for all your business needs. There are 1,000 combinations, of course, but eight of them are actually valid phrases, one of which could be a decent marketing slogan.




    1. You don’t want to drink John’s mild.

      We’re fascinated not so much by how this formula came to be, but how it came to be used so widely and frequently. We’re also faintly annoyed that clients are doubtless spending thousands to have someone pull results out of what is, as we say, a very simple formula.

      1. Alienate The Celibate/Scratch The Leprous
        Think Jane’s Happy?/Drive Some Red

        It’s like Mark E Smith was still with us

      2. I meant ‘Drink Some Red’, but then, making sense or keeping the lyrics the same for different performances was never a huge concern for Mr Smith, so maybe driving some Red is better.

      3. Didn’t Scratch Some Baggy happen just recently in South Africa? I seem to remember young Bancroft photographed in a compromising position.

    2. Drink The Odious ought to be the title of a new play at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs…

      …sorry, I mean the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, naturally.

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