The Ashes Sports Report
Australia and England have been head-to-head Ashes competitors for nearly 130 years. It is one the biggest rivalries in cricket and the sport’s biggest event outside an international tournament.
Interest in the Ashes peaked in 2005 thanks to a winning combination of a thrilling series (which England won 2-1) being shown on terrestrial TV. This captured the nation’s imagination well beyond cricket fans.
Those highs have not been scaled since as all England games have only been available live via Pay TV after Sky Sports purchased the broadcast rights.
It is hoped that England’s recent World Cup win in the one-day format of the game will boost interest. Sky’s decision to allow Channel 4 to also broadcast the final resulted in 8.3 million viewers for the match, which many are calling the most exciting in history.
It has put cricket – and a number of England’s star players – back in the limelight. There are seven players in the England team who individually have over one million social media followers.
There’s the added spice of three Australian players returning to Test Match cricket for the first time following very lengthy bans over last year’s sandpaper-gate scandal.
The nature of the sport itself plus the paywall means viewers will predominantly be the sport’s loyal middle-class and upwards. In addition, around half a million people will attend the five Ashes matches.
ECB and Cricket Australia’s respective partners – such as NatWest, Specsavers, and Quantas – as well as the slew of food & beverage and financial services sponsors will be hoping for high levels of exposure.
Certainly, with play lasting all day, it provides a huge opportunity for sponsors to engage attendees through significant on-the-ground activations.
Those sponsors associated with the England team will certainly be praying for an Ashes and World Cup double to keep cricket in the public mind-set in the months and years to come.
- What is the Ashes?
- Viewership & Audience
- Interest in the Ashes
- Social Media
- England Cricket Board (ECB) Commercial Partners
- Cricket Australia Commercial Partners
- ECB – Sponsorship Landscape
- Cricket Australia – Sponsorship Landscape
- ECB and Cricket Australia – Sponsorship Landscape
- Media Monitoring – ‘The Ashes’ and ‘Cricket’
- Media Monitoring – The Ashes Sponsors
For an example of a full Sports Report, see our Skateboarding version.