BBL attracting new cricket fans
Research shows short format comp's real value
7 May 2014, 02:22 AM AEST
Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland is encouraged by research which highlights the KFC T20 Big Bash League is attracting new interest in cricket in Australia.
Research undertaken by CA in the late 2000s showed cricket was becoming less relevant as a sport for kids, females, young families and Australians from non-English-speaking backgrounds.
The creation and development of the BBL was seen by CA powerbrokers as an investment in the game’s future.
And after its third season, Gemba has revealed BBL enjoyed its most successful season in all of the key attendance metrics.
Among other highlights for the competition’s third season, Gemba’s study of BBL|03’s at-venue audience found;
- 42% came to their first BBL game (a rise of 14% from BBL|02)
- 1 in 5 BBL attendees came to an elite cricket match for the first time (22% in BBL|03, compared to 13% in BBL|02)
- Over 50% of attendees were with family
- 24% of BBL attendees are kids compared with 9% at Tests
- 51% of women attended their first BBL game (a rise of 16% from BBL|02)
- BBL is the clear favourite format of cricket among kids aged 5-15
These findings complement the strong TV audiences (average audience over 930,000 on Channel 10) and attendances (more than 650,000 attended, as part of an overall summer that drew a record 1,730,914 people through the gates).
Attendances included five venue records and a biggest crowd of 42,837 between the Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars at Etihad Stadium.
Merchandise sales were also up 47% on BBL|02.
“We have unashamedly designed a competition and marketed a competition to attract new people to the game,” Sutherland told News Limited.
“If it doesn’t do that it won’t last because it’s not a good investment for us. We’re excited to see that data.”