Magazine article Marketing

Marketing to Build Up British Sport

Magazine article Marketing

Marketing to Build Up British Sport

Article excerpt

As the England & Wales Cricket Board unveils its plans to breathe life into kids' teams, Mark Kleinman looks into British sport's new mission to market effectively to young people

It may have come too late to help this year's England Ashes team, but last week's launch of 'The Pride Side', a new initiative to get youngsters involved in cricket, was potentially of great significance for the future of British sport.

Developed by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in conjunction with Interfocus and Raymedia, 'The Pride Side' is a quartet of animated lion characters that will spearhead the ECB's marketing and educational messages.

The project, which forms part of the ECB's five-year strategy for the revitalisation of youth cricket by promoting values such as teamwork, sporting excellence and participation, underlines the value that UK sport's governing bodies attach to marketing.

Grassroots support

ECB chief executive Tim Lamb suggests that 'The Pride Side' represents the ideal vehicle to help the body achieve its aim of introducing young people to cricket, As the initiative's strapline, 'Cricket to the Roots', indicates, the objective is to help county boards and cricket development officers around the country communicate their message in an attractive way.

"This has been an exciting project for us to work on," says Interfocus head of strategic planning Stuart Leach. "The characters will become integral to the ECB's marketing strategy because they are the personification of everything the sport should be about."

'The Pride Side' is backed by the ECB's commercial partners, which include Npower, Nat West, Norwich Union and Vodafone. The theme will be used in an animated film, Channel 4 Howzat! Educational packs, an internet portal and a mobile roadshow. Importantly, half of the money raised by consumers switching to Npower will be donated to 'The Pride Side' for investment in grassroots cricket. …

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