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Behind the scenes with the International Cricket Council

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Following the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 final, we reflect on our partnership with the International Cricket Council and how it benefits our accommodation partners

In 2019, we announced a five-year global partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and became the exclusive accommodation booking partner for all ICC events worldwide. 

Experiencing the excitement of an international cricket tournament in person is a compelling reason to travel for millions of people around the world. This partnership gives us the opportunity to reach those travelers as well as the billions of viewers who watch ICC events every year. In 2019, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup alone had a unique broadcast audience of 706 million viewers

“When we looked into partnering with the ICC, the audience really stood out to me,” says Brendan Cartledge, Senior Program Manager at Booking.com. “Cricket is the number one summer sport in some key markets including Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and India. Especially in India, it’s not just a sport – it’s part of the culture. If you compare the audience size to other major international sporting events, it’s much larger. While cricket may not be as popular as other sports in every country, the audience makes it a top-tier sporting event.”

Putting your property front of mind

By partnering with the ICC, we’re growing and building our brand in key markets such as the UK, India, Pakistan, the Caribbean, and Australia, which allows us to tap into a huge number of potential guests. This places your properties front of mind for viewers thinking of booking their next trip. 

In addition to a fully integrated branded presence at all ICC events, we collaborate with the organization on a range of campaigns and activations to amplify the partnership at key moments. Take the recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 as an example, which took place from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. There was initially a lot of uncertainty surrounding the tournament’s location, so we doubled down on digital activations by integrating our branding across ICC’s social channels. These activities can be seen across ICC’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, which have a combined following of 63M. 

Alongside digital activations, we also invested in traditional media including a TV commercial. If you watched any of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 tournament, you would’ve undoubtedly seen this commercial, which was played once per match and reached a cumulative audience of around 4 billion people. The commercial also featured important messages about our partners, shining a spotlight on your fabulous hospitality. 

We also enlisted the help of ambassadors in India, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, including Bollywood star Shradda Kapoor, England cricket player Jos Buttler, former Australian cricketer Mitchell Johnson, and former New Zealand cricketer Ross Taylor. We worked with each of these ambassadors across numerous activities before and during the tournament to amplify our brand messaging and increase earned media appeal. 

These investments saw great results: YouGov India evaluated ad awareness for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 brand sponsors during the course of the tournament. Data from BrandIndex shows that since the beginning of the tournament, we recorded an increase in our ad awareness by +1.2 points, from 13.6 on October 17 to 14.8 on November 4. This research was based on our T20 Pavilion initiative in India where we invited cricket lovers to watch the Indian vs. Pakistan T20 World Cup match at the T20 Pavilion – a bespoke cricket-themed luxury stay specially created by Booking.com at the Presidential Suite at The Grand Hyatt Mumbai Hotel & Residences.

Turning fans into global travelers

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to ease in some parts of the world, some fans can finally experience matches in person and feel the excitement within the stadium. Our research shows that 46% of global travelers are excited to travel abroad for a sporting event as travel restrictions ease. 

Looking at the APAC region specifically, 69% of New Zealanders and 62% of Australians stated that they would travel with their family to watch a cricket World Cup match. Additionally, 72% of Indians were excited about the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup tournament. While there were fewer fans traveling to this year’s Men’s T20 World Cup, creating a much more local feel at matches, our research shows that fans’ intent to travel to tournaments as soon as it becomes safe remains prevalent. 

This creates an opportunity to host the millions of committed fans who will travel to future events to support their teams. And when these fans are deciding where to book their stay, Booking.com and your properties will be front of mind. 

 

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Takeaway
  • In 2019, we announced a five-year global partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC) and became the exclusive accommodation booking partner for all ICC events worldwide
  • This partnership gives us the opportunity to reach the billions of viewers that watch ICC events every year
  • During the recent ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, we invested in digital and traditional media to amplify our brand messaging and increase earned media appeal – putting your property front of mind for sporting fans booking their next trip