Yes that’s me, the uncomfortable looking guy in the suit, not that one – that’s Kevin Savage my fellow director, looking just as uncomfortable, i’m the other one with the tie.

How did I get there and why?

 Worcestershire County Cricket Club & Ventutec

This is the second year we (Ventutec) have sponsored Worcestershire County Cricket Club and as Marketing Director I am always asked, why? What return do we have from being a sponsor?

Sponsoring something, anything, such as an event, a fun run to your local football team is a big decision especially when budgets are tight and you are unsure if your money could be best spent elsewhere? or can it? There is a simple calculation ‘ROI’ (return on Investment) where the money spent has to generate sales greater than the original sum – how does this compute, after all how many of your target audience will see your logo on the arm of a cricket sleeve?

But why Cricket? To be honest I don’t really know the rules, all I know is when the ball is hit into the crowd, it’s not just funny to see everyone duck out the way, it also means a Six! When the ball rolls up to the boundary it’s a four, when the stumps are knocked over or the ball is caught, you are out! That’s all you need to know, isn’t it? The scoring is still a mystery to me…

I’ve found cricket as such a pleasant and relaxing game to watch, there is’t that intense 90 minutes of play that you get with football and rugby, you can dip in and out of the game, get a drink, chat and network and still be able to get back into the game.

Therefore, linking cricket with business has been a breeze, ‘Let’s meet at the cricket’ is a much better start to the conversation….it’s great to have an event going on which you can invite a potential client to. I normally meet in the new facilities at Worcester, called ‘The View’ with the cricket playing in the background.  A relaxing atmosphere, the occasional cheer,  helps the conversation, why have a meeting in a windowless meeting room, who says you even have to meet clients in a room at all?

Yes your logo is visible on the billboards and you meet other likeminded businesses, but that’s not all. Sponsoring a team is a talking point, it shows your stance in the community.

Can you see that red shape on the sleeve – that’s our logo, that is!

Here is our logo on the sleeve of Moeen Ali who is fast become a most recognisable face in cricket – is that luck or well planned? Probably a bit of both, but you need to be in it to win it and getting involved is better than doing nothing – so my advice is ‘get out there and be seen’. Your competition will be doing nothing, so you are one step ahead.

You maybe thinking ‘well Matt, this all sounds great, but what about ROI?’ Well…. From our support of Worcestershire Country Cricket Club we have made some great connections who have now become regular clients, our existing clients feel rewarded with invites to matches and meetings, promoting loyalty and going beyond this, our local connections have recommended us wide and far.  The figures, although can’t be disclosed (I’m just the Marketing Director) show that as an agency it really is all about who you meet and the quality of work and relationships we maintain thereafter.