Friday, January 8th, 2016

Rapids T20 Blast Attendances Rocket After Success Of Tv Advert And On Field Glory

Rapids T20 Blast Attendances Rocket After Success Of Tv Advert And On Field Glory

Worcestershire Rapids attendances for the NatWest T20 Blast went up by a record 85% last summer – and fully justified their first TV advertising campaign.

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell and paceman Jack Shantry featured in an ITV 1 television advert jointly promoting the county's Rapids brand and several iconic buildings in Worcester.

Coupled with the team's superb performances on the field, the ad helped swell gates at New Road by 24% for the seven North Group matches compared to 2014 – and 85% overall with the addition of the club's first ever home quarter-final.

The club point to 64% of advanced ticket purchasers being by new customers as evidence of the success of the advert which came about after Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council linked up with the County to promote the #WorldClassWorcs banner.

But the growing success of the Rapids brand was also evident with 35% of the spectators who came to watch T20 Blast cricket in 2014 at New Road returning in 2015 – considerably more than the average figure of 20% across all counties for the same period.

Worcestershire Commercial Director Jon Graham said: "The ECB measure is 'how busy is your ground' and we are currently at 75% occupancy across every T20 game.

"To put that into context, that is fifth out of all the counties with the average being 56%. Our total T20 attendance was up 85% compared to 2014 although that includes a first ever home quarter-final.

"But in the group stages, we were also up 24% in 2015 compared to 2014.

"We are keen to push advanced ticket purchasers and 64% of them in 2015 were new customers who had never been to New Road before for T20.

"That is massive for us and proved that the TV commercial worked. TV advertising gives you a far wider reach than the more normal channels we use like press, radio which are really important.

"Essentially what that gave us last season was nearly 2,500 new customers coming to watch Worcestershire Rapids in T20 cricket."

Graham is determined to try and ensure the 'sold out' signs become a regular feature of T20 Blast matches at New Road.

He said: "We know we've got our attention strategy better than most because that is proven in the figures so, now we've got even more new people coming in, it's really important we retain people.

"The objective is always to sell out every T20 and not just the Birmingham Bears game – and we are getting there. Those figures are incredibly impressive."

Graham is equally encouraged by the return of 35% of spectators in 2015 who watched T20 the previous summer at New Road.

He said: "The introduction of the Rapids brand has had massive impact on ticket sales because people now are buying into the brand and recognising the brand and they understand we have performed really well on the pitch which has also helped.

"Last year we had record attendances for T20 and 35% of the people who came in 2014 came back in 2015 whereas the average across all the other counties is 20%.

"What we've achieved in the ECB's words is hugely impressive.

"The objective when I started out as far as the Rapids was concerned was to try and build a bit of a tribal mentality about the brand and about the cricket and people not just coming to T20 because it's a great night out.

"It's actually having an affiliation with the brand itself so we've achieved that. The key is obviously getting people here but the real measurement is 'are they going to come back?'

"Just to give an idea of how good the 35% returning figure is, if you look at Team England, Test matches they retain 40% of their customers so we are only slightly behind that which is phenomenal."