The International Cricket Council (ICC) unveiled the outcome of the largest ever market research project on Wednesday (June 27). According to the survey, cricket has over one billion fans globally with nearly 40% of all fans being female.
The research was carried out to understand the growth potential of cricket and now the ICC will use the findings to guide strategic direction and to grow the game. It also facilitates the ICC and its Members to shape and implement their fan engagement strategies.
“The breakdown of cricket’s three different formats in the research showed two-thirds of fans over the age of 16 who were interviewed are interested in all three international formats of the game. The importance and popularity of ICC global events was evident with 95% of fans interested or very interested, with the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC World T20 the most popular,” the media release of ICC stated.
“The women’s game continues to gain momentum and on the back of the game-changing ICC Women’s World Cup, two-thirds of cricket fans are interested in women’s cricket (68%) and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup (65%) – in addition, 70% of fans want to see more live coverage of women’s cricket.
“Close to 70% fans are interested in Test cricket with fans in England & Wales showing the strongest interest in this format (86%), South Africa lead the interest in ODI cricket (91%) and Pakistan in T20I cricket (98%). Globally, T20I is the most popular format with 92% interest whilst ODIs are close with 88% interest,” the release added.
The research certainly revealed that cricket has a significant growth potential in both traditional and non-traditional markets. The research study also recognized more than 300 million active participants over the age of 16.
Fans were also asked to opine on cricket’s inclusion in the Olympic Games, with 87% of them claiming they would like to see Twenty20 cricket in Olympics.
Stressing on the importance of this research, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “It is the first global market research project ever undertaken in the sport and having more than one billion fans in the surveyed age category of 16-69 alone, with an average age of 34, is undoubtedly an exciting and strong position from which we can drive the sport forward.”
“There are opportunities to grow in both our traditional markets, where the focus will be on attracting more women and girls, children and families, to the game, as well as non-traditional cricket playing nations where there is clearly both interest and opportunity,” he added.
“A global growth strategy for cricket is currently being developed and this research is a significant cornerstone of that, guiding our decision making and providing us with a benchmark to measure progress as we look to drive long-term growth of the game,” the ICC chief concluded.
(With inputs from ICC)