Leicestershire Monthly Report - March 2021
Welcome to the March update on all things #RunningFoxes
These updates are intended to give you an ongoing recap and insight into how your Club is progressing. I hope you are enjoying reading them and find them useful.
This month I will begin with our ‘Cash’ Pillar and then finish with an update on ‘Cricket’, with ‘Community, Commercial and Company’ in-between
With the ongoing pandemic and the recent news of the roadmap, which means we will play behind closed doors for the first three LV=County Championship games, the income being generated into the Club remains limited. Additionally, this Winter we have lost out on functions and events at the Uptonsteel County Ground meaning we have missed out on over £250k of income for the Club. This is a huge blow for us so, getting supporters into the ground can’t come soon enough.
We continue to implement our ‘Mitigation Strategy’ ensuring expenditure is essential only. Our cost control over the Winter period has been good and with the ongoing excellent support of our membership, corporate sponsors and partners, we continue to navigate through this very difficult period. It has been incredibly tough but on reflection, I am certain we couldn’t have done any better. I will also take the opportunity here to thank all the staff at Leicestershire County Cricket Club for their efforts to date.
There naturally will come a time, possibly very soon, when we have to move away from the ‘Mitigation Strategy’ and no longer rely on Government support or central funding. We therefore will need everyone to continue to support us as best they can. That includes continuing to buy memberships or tickets, purchasing items from our retail offering or booking an event at the Uptonsteel County Ground. Your support is our lifeblood.
Onto our Community pillar.
Firstly a shout out to our Leicestershire Women’s and Girls section. If you have been following them you will notice that they have decided to undertake a fantastic challenge to ‘virtually’ run to New Zealand. At the time of writing, they had just completed 1,000 miles (with a further 10,000+ to go). Keep going and well done. Please take a moment to see what they are doing and if you can, sponsor them.
Like our catering team, the community team have had it tough this Winter. They have been unable to get out into the community to work with our clubs, schools and communities. However as lockdown begins to ease, I know they can't wait to get out and about. I will personally, this summer, try and join them on some of the courses they deliver too, so I look forward to meeting other attendees. On the positive side, it has been heart-warming to see the launch of the ‘All Stars’ and ‘Dynamo’s’ cricket programmes this month. From what I can see there has been a huge interest in registrations. Thanks to all the Clubs that are taking part.
Hopefully, you have seen a major initiative from us recently too; the ‘BIG Cricket Survey’. In simple, this is part of our ongoing #Foxesfamily programme and our efforts to attract new audiences to Leicestershire County Cricket Club. The survey, running in conjunction with the Cricket Supporters Association and with help from our Official Partner, The Fan Experience Company, is intended for everyone in Leicestershire, whether or not you like or play cricket. We want to hear from you. Your feedback can help us shape our future programmes and campaigns.
What’s more our #Foxesfamily work doesn’t stop there. We have recently announced that we are searching for a Community Talent Champion who can help us forge even closer links with our community. We want to see more children playing cricket and getting on our pathways. This is vital to the future of cricket in our area.
Work on our Foundation is continuing and we are hoping to announce an initiative for our supporters to get involved in very soon – keep your eyes peeled.
Finally, it was great to see over 60 people on our virtual member’s forum recently and lovely to meet some new members and give them a fuller update on all things Leicestershire CCC (including interviews with our Captain and Vice-Captain)
Onto Commercial. It has been hugely important for the Club that our commercial team continues to operate as normal as possible. It has been pleasing to see increased memberships, Blast Passes and Tickets purchased. Again this is hugely important to us.
This month has also seen a couple of firsts for the commercial team. Firstly, the launch of our new ‘Media Partnerships’ and I am delighted we now have two partners join us. They are long-standing supporters of the Club; BBC Radio Leicester and Cool as Leicester. I know we are working on a further media partner and hope that we bring news of that partnership soon. These new partners will ultimately help us get our message out to a bigger and wider audience.
The second first is the introduction of the new coins. These are bespoke to the club and will be used when our Captain goes out for the toss. Businesses can sponsor the LV=County Championship games this year and as part of their package will receive an exclusive coin.
As mentioned earlier, in 2020, we have had to cancel all of our events. However, it's great to see the return of the West End show ‘An evening of Queen’. What’s equally great is the bookings we have taken. In 24 hours, our hospitality sold out, and despite us bringing in a further marquee that has sold out too. All that remains is the standard tickets for what promises to be a very popular event. I would urge you to buy one if you haven’t done so already. We are hopeful this will be the start of many successful events at the ground, which we describe as Leicestershire’s premier outdoor venue.
With the arrival of new commercial partners joining the club, now standing at 32, the commercial team is going from strength to strength. Consequently, we are currently recruiting for a further 3 people to join the team. Having a strong and successful commercial team is very important to the Club. I ultimately want the cricket industry to be envious of our operations.
Speaking of official partners it’s great to welcome Develop, Seat Unique, Fulhurst, Gallaghers and Sporting Edge to the family. I know our commercial team have some great plans lined up for the summer and beyond. Please keep monitoring the Club’s social media channels.
Finally, it's nice to see that all of our players are now sponsored ahead of the forthcoming season.. but a bit more of that further down.
The Company pillar
During the close season, there has been a considerable amount of work taking place on our company development too. From an organisational point, our Governance and Administration Manager has been very busy ensuring we meet all of the requirements imposed on us from the ECB’s County Partnership Agreement (CPA). The CPA means that we have to review all of our systems and ensure we meet the standards. This includes the likes of our HR systems, safeguarding, commercial agreements and so on. Whilst we still have a lot of work to do we are now in a much stronger position than the Club has ever been in and with modern practices, we are well placed to progress as a robust organisation.
From a ground development perspective, the ground staff have continued to work hard. There has been lots of repair work including the Gower and Pavilion roof. Earlier in the year, we had 4 hybrid pitches installed. We have also upgraded our CCTV at the club and are now looking to have a new PA system that should be the envy of cricket.
Finally, on the Company Pillar, we have had some new branding at the ground that is the first step to making sure the Uptonsteel County Ground ties in with the new brand of Leicestershire County Cricket Club. Hopefully, you’ll begin to see what I mean when you next visit.
Last but by no means least an update on our ‘Cricket Pillar’. There’s not long to go now and the next time I write an update we will have begun our LV=County Championship campaign. I am sure you are like me and are hopeful to see, not only our new players in action but, how the Club has progressed from last season.
It has been great to see not only the first team players but also the Academy players back in training. All of them look fired up and ready to go in the respective competitions.
I want to use this opportunity to also congratulate our coach Tom Smith on graduating from the ECB specialist coaching programme. As you know we have the vision to be the ‘Academy of Cricket’ and I am keen for all of us to learn and evolve.
Speaking of the Academy of Cricket, I would urge you to take a moment to look at our Foxes TV interview with Ali Maiden, Head of Academy Pathway. It’s a great series of interviews that explains the process of becoming a cricketer and the first steps in becoming a Leicestershire CCC player.
To bolster our team, I am pleased that Aussie International Marcus Harris, has joined us for the 2021 campaign. Marcus will undoubtedly bring a touch of resilience to the team and hopefully will help our young players progress and develop into even stronger cricketers. I for one can't wait to see Marcus in action at the Uptonsteel County Ground.
We recently announced our final overseas player for the 2021 season, Australian wicket-keeper batsman, Josh Inglis, will link up with Paul Nixon and our Running Foxes for the Vitality Blast. Josh is a huge talent and together, with Naveen, this will hopefully provide that extra bit of spark that will help the squad this season!
That’s it for me for now, but
1. Here’s to a successful 2021 campaign across all of the tournaments
2. Here’s to seeing you back at the Uptonsteel County Ground soon
Come on you #RunningFoxes!