Lord’s Cricket Ground looks to shake off ‘affluent English gents’ image with digital push
The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is undergoing a “massive digital branding project” for its Lord’s Cricket Ground ahead of this summer’s Ashes as it looks to boost revenues and show that cricket is not just for “affluent English gents”.
It has launched a mobile app that it will trial over the summer which will allow the MCC to test ways of creating a more connected experience by improving its food and beverage offering, managing queues and directing visitors towards different on-site facilities from their iPads or mobile phones.
The app will also provide promotional opportunities for fans with the MCC looking to trial beacon technology to push offers.
The MCC’s digital manager Ian Treseder told Marketing Week: “We may use WiFi access points, but beacon technology would allow us to see where people are in the grounds and push offers and promotions to them if required, whether from a retail opportunity or an administration point of view.”
Redeveloping social to make cricket more accessible
Treseder said the club is redeveloping its YouTube and social media channels in an effort to target its global fanbase after seeing a rise in its Twitter following.
“We want to make it accessible and produce content that people are interested in,” he said.
“We’re trying to break down barriers so that we’re not seen as this exclusive place which is just for affluent English ‘gents’.”
Ian Treseder, the MCC’s digital manager
Despite being the first ground in the world to offer free WiFi in 2012, Treseder said until recently the club, which has been based in North West London since 1814, had largely neglected digital.
“The awareness of our different brands is huge, but we need to make sure we remain relevant in the game through big initiatives,” he added.
In an effort to address this, over the past two years the MCC has built a TV studio and multimedia centre on the grounds.
“We get a lot of glitterati and this gives us the opportunity to interview some of the legends of the game and current players,” Treseder added.
Digital to drive revenue
One of the main aims of the digital strategy is to drive revenue over the next three years according to Treseder, who added that the MCC has recently appointed a new CIO.
The club is looking to bring ticketing and merchandise onto its website to create a “single unified destination” after seeing a 51% increase in online revenue and a 300% increase in mobile traffic since introducing its Silverstripe-powered Lords.org portal.
The new site, which is responsive across all devices, features real-time scores, video content, a museum and library service and a private area for MCC members as well as links to ticketing and merchandise.
“We hope to be in a position where we have that one site from the user point of view coming through one system, as well as an in-ground app which feeds into the system and allows us to manage queues and deliver beverages to seats,” Treseder said.
However, he added: “The big thing is focusing on the customer experience and how digital can play a part in improving that.”