Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the England and Wales Cricket Board

  The Committee has requested that the ECB provides information about the impact of the 1999 Cricket World Cup in five areas: marketing, ticketing, spectator base, participation and economic. The Committee also requested that ECB provides information on the direct financial outcome of the Tournament.


  The Tournament recorded a surplus of £13.7 million for the ECB while it provided the International Cricket Council with its best financial result ever with almost £17 million. More details provided in attached Financial Result.


  ECB regarded the Tournament as an opportunity to focus attention on the sport in the UK and to create a "legacy" of wider public awareness and interest in cricket at all levels.

  Marketing activity centred around "Carnival of Cricket" theme as evidenced by the ticket sales launch and awareness levels created by promotional and editorial activity as well as by broadcaster and sponsor promotion.

  Significant marketing spend was deemed uneconomic in light of lack of sponsor contribution and, due to enormous success of ticket sales, remedial action was unnecessary.

    —  The best indication of the impact of the marketing of the World Cup is in research figures and the Tournament's "legacy".

    —  Cricket's viewer base rose 10 per cent as a result of the Tournament.

    —  96 per cent of the population were aware that the World Cup had taken place.

    —  More than half the population watched at least 30 minutes of the Tournament on television while 10 per cent watched 16 or more matches.

    —  Interest levels in the Tournament actually rose for the latter stages despite England dropping out.

    —  World Cup served to raise public opinion of the sport for 16 per cent of the nation.


  Effective and controlled distribution of tickets is essential to the success of any major sporting event and, second to financial achievement, is the measure by which that success is measured. A successful ticketing exercise was doubly important following public dissatisfaction with ticketing arrangements for Euro 96 and the 1998 Football World Cup.

  The ticketing policy aimed to: "Maximise attendance at, and enthusiasm for, the 1999 Cricket World Cup through an affordable, open and fair ticketing system which generates maximum possible revenues especially from the Super Six onwards."

  The system was computerised and centrally controlled with on-line capability to Host Venues, all seats were numbered and tickets sold as seat-specific, members received a discount, a "loyalty" system linking the Final to earlier matches was established and allocations were set aside for all teams, agencies and commercial partners.

  In an effort to limit resellers' access to tickets, restrictions were placed on the number to tickets sold to any one purchaser, security devices were to be included within the system and the tickets and hard copy distribution did not begin until one month before the Tournament.

  The decision to "take the game to the people" and to stage matches in Scotland, Ireland and Holland as well as at the 18 First Class Counties was justified as all Matches played to capacity or near capacity (476,000 out of a total of 490,000).

  In fact, the £13.8 million revenue from ticketing was considerably in excess of the £11 million target, totally vindicating the decision to keep the operation in-house. The decision also allowed total control of the ticket inventory and, while it is impossible to completely eradicate it, the measures taken definitely limited the level of touting which in turn reduced the potential for crowd disturbances and disrupted traffic flows.


  Much of the research carried out after the Tournament concentrated upon its impact upon television audiences and general public awareness of the Tournament and its sponsors, making it difficult to establish comparisons with previous years.

  Given 1999 was a unique year in both Test and one-day international structure from others, it is also invidious to make a precise comparison with 2000, especially since the 2000 season was badly disrupted by inclement weather.

  However, the exuberant support of thousands of sub-continent fans justified the promotion of the Tournament as a Carnival of Cricket and encouraged a couple of Counties to pursue Asian players as their overseas professional, in turn resulting in an increase in memberships among the Asian community. Additionally, the Oval staged a one-off charity game involving a team of Asian players that enjoyed a huge Asian following, increasing the view that cricket has opened itself to a more multi-cultural audience.

  The World Cup Education Programme saw 4,500 Schools Activity Packs distributed to primary schools throughout the country alongside which Counties ran their own parallel competitions with a prize of playing cricket during the interval of a World Cup match. A further 1,000 secondary schools participated, each receiving a bag of equipment free of charge including teaching materials with a prize similar to that for primary schools.

  The benefits to the game are clear, with participation at primary levels increasing by 11 per cent on the previous year, bursting through the one million barrier for the first time. According to Sport England, cricket is the only game in the last five years in which there has been an increase in the number of children participating on a frequent basis.

  Perhaps the legacy of the World Cup is more indirect. It has certainly resulted in the introduction of at least two new sponsors as well as Channel 4, a new and dynamic broadcaster that has revolutionised the televising of cricket in the UK. This, in turn, has enthused a whole new audience to tune into and play the game—which will only increase as England continues its success on field.


  No figures available.

December 2000

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