From retail to ratings: the power of the Cricket World Cup

The fervour around the Black Caps and their amazing performance in the Cricket World Cup is manifesting itself in a number of ways. Here are a few of them. 

Briscoe Group has been bucking retail trends of late and, despite tough trading conditions, growing its sales and profits. And while it wouldn’t share any specific revenue numbers, the Cricket World Cup has been a boon for Rebel Sport.

“Our cricket category is up four to five times on last year, which we are of course extremely pleased with,” says group marketing manager at Briscoe Group Tanya Laurence. “Black Caps replica merchandise [made by Canterbury and available in a few different colours]pretty much sold out in the first week of the tournament.” 

It’s thought Rebel Sport ordered double what it ordered last year, but it wished it had ordered double that again. 

It’s also played on the power of sporting stars (as a young lad, I spent hours poring over the Canterbury Cricket catalogue and generally went to sleep stroking my Duncan & Fearnley tenderly) and exclusivity in retail. 

“Given that we are the only place on the planet that sells the bat range used by Martin Guptill (Kookaburra Pursuit) and Corey Anderson (Gunn & Moore Mogul), plus a huge range of other bats used by many of the players, we are confident that our cricket category sales will continue to exceed expectations.” 

It has also been running an ad featuring Corey Anderson and the GM range based around his 36 ball hundred against the West Indies. 

And just as many of the tournament sponsors are using social media to give away tickets, Rebel Sport is giving away one of the Kookaburra bats to keep its social animals well-fed. 

  • Check out Dot’s revealing Cricket World Cup dot ball data here

NZ Cricket’s James Wear says there has been unprecedented demand for Black Caps merchandise and sales are up over 100 percent through blackcapshop.com (he wasn’t able to provide info on how many Tui shirts it’s sold). It’s also seen an 85 percent increase in the number of people signing up to its database, MyBlackcaps, which offers members highlights after games, exclusive  content, ticket discounts, sponsor offers and notifications through its app. 

Importantly, he says there has been a 159 percent increase in the number of members who have signed up without having any prior engagement with NZ Cricket. And the next phase is to ensure that it stays in contact with those people. 

And while he has no figures on participation, he says it generally notices an increase in the number of players after big tournaments. So, common sense would dictate that the performance of the Black Caps will increase that. Judging by the Tweet below, it’s certainly impacted the style of play of some of our younger cricketers. 

Not surprisingly, Nielsen stats show ratings for the cricket are up significantly since the first game, peaking at the semi-final on Tuesday with 291,000 watching on Sky and another 234,000 watching on Prime after Sky decided to screen it on free-to-air. These numbers don’t account for the many  watching in bars or on SkyGo (Sky doesn’t release that data for viewing online or through a mobile device), but there were obviously plenty of people watching that way, as it had a few issues due to high demand

Online, while March figures aren’t available until next month, Nielsen says sports category websites increased by 171,000 unique audience from January to February. 

February’s unique audience for:

  • Stuff.co.nz/Sport = 585,000
  • nzherald.co.nz /Sport = 377,000 (NZME says its cricketfever.co.nz repository has increased traffic to nzherald.co.nz and Radio Sport)
  • icc-cricket.com = 229,000
  • cricketworldcup.com = 114,000
  • New Zealand Cricket = 61,000
  • CricBuzz = 52,000 

​​iHeartRadio has also been given a boost, with the Alternative Commentary Collective generating 241,819 streams (as of March 10, when the ICC made allowances for them to continue commentating) and attracting so many listeners during the New Zealand versus Australia game that its server crashed. 

There’s obviously a whole heap of chatter about the cricket through various social channels and Google Trends also shows that searches for the Blackcaps and cricket have also peaked. 


Some felt the tournament dragged on for too long. Many want it to continue for all eternity. So, with that in mind, we look forward to the World Test Championship and its ‘timeless’ final being put back on the table for a true test of endurance—for players and spectators alike. 

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