Stumped by Murray’s rant about cricket

I don’t think that Iain Murray should be allowed the last word after his piece on English cricket (MW September 22).

Of all the sports that have been actively using marketing as part of their business plan, cricket stands out as an outstanding success. The Twenty20 format was created by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after a period of intensive consumer research – the result: record attendances this season around the country, with the format now being adopted around the world. The trick of Twenty20 was to combine a new cricketing format with a marketing approach that spectators immediately understood.

This year around the Ashes Series the ECB created a number of “Cricket in the Park” events that were designed to attract people to cricket for the first time as well as catering for those who were unable to attend the matches themselves – the result: over 50,000 people at five venues across the UK, many of whom we expect to see next season at our matches.

Later this year the ECB is planning to set up a series of think tank sessions with a group of young marketers to discuss the next phase of the sport’s marketing, building on the success of this summer. We are currently recruiting members of this group. The success of Twenty20 came out of understanding what our audience was looking for – we are confident that out next initiatives will be similarly successfully targeted

Marketing has played an important part in the success of this summer and will do so in the future. If Iain Murray wants to watch his sport in quiet, empty stadiums, there are a lot of other sports that can accommodate him.

John Perera

Commercial director

The England and Wales Cricket Board

Lord’s Cricket Ground

London NW8

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