Cricket South Africa brings in Roc Nation to boost fan experience

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has teamed up with the international arm of US agency Roc Nation Sports under a partnership that is set to have a heavy focus on fan engagement and the match-day experience.

Roc Nation Sports International (RNSI) has been engaged to deliver on six partnership goals, but the core vision of the collaboration includes proactive engagement with the cricket fanbase, striving for excellence both on and off the field and facilitating a vibrant match-day experience, as CSA looks to the future as a ‘sportstainment’ brand.

Cricket South Africa CEO, Pholetsi Moseki, said in a statement: “CSA is deliberate and intentional about repositioning its energy to a fan-facing brand experience. The bumper calendar properties that CSA has to offer will be elevated to a global audience, which will in turn export the CSA brand and its varied offerings.

“This new direction augurs well for the appetite that our sport fans have demonstrated for our products and is bound to resonate soundly across the country and the globe. This is a thrilling moment for CSA as it charters the excitement back to the fans, to be part of it.”

The partnership with RNSI will also give CSA access to commercial platforms and opportunities that will assist in delivering the business objectives and goals. It is also Roc Nation’s first major deal in the cricket market, aside from representing players such as South Africa stars Temba Bavuma and Lungi Ngidi.

Roc Nation Sports International president, Michael Yormark, said: “There are so many incredible athletes involved in SA cricket, with inspirational stories waiting to be told, not only in South Africa, but across a global market.

“For those who might ask why or how this partnership came about, the answer is that we believe the future looks bright for South African cricket. Both the men and women’s teams have produced some superb results of late, while the recent announcement of a dynamic new T20 competition is yet another exciting prospect on the horizon.

“It’s clear that there is a fresh energy, and lots of dynamic plans in the pipelines, which will appeal to a vibrant audience of sports lovers.”

Yormark said Roc Nation will look to its experience in major events such as the NFL’s Super Bowl as it seeks to enhance CSA’s match-day offering. He admits Roc Nation “may not know as much about cricket as other agencies,” but believes this could be an advantage.

“It allows us to bring a new thought process, new ideas, fresh ideas to the table,” he said, according to ESPNCricinfo.

“What we really want to do is bring the best practices from global events – practices that focus on what’s great for the fan – to South Africa and allow Cricket SA to take advantage of them for all these events that are coming up in their calendar over the next couple of years.”

Roc Nation will also be working to raise stadium attendance, and widen the demographic of the average South African cricket fan. Errol Madlala, CSA’s acting chief commercial officer, added: “What we are adding is looking at how we also compete for the hearts and minds of our fans as well as attract those outside of cricket into the cricket space.

“The advantage we have over other sporting codes is that we’ve got time, our events are slightly longer.”

Image: Newlands Cricket