CRICKET COMES TO CANADA

COSMOS HELPS BRING THE FIRST MAJOR CRICKET TOURNAMENT TO CANADA

CRICKET COMES TO CANADA

COSMOS HELPS BRING THE FIRST MAJOR CRICKET TOURNAMENT TO CANADA
ABOUT GLOBAL T20 CANADA
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Global T20 Canada (GT20) is an annual international cricket tournament, established in 2018, and the only one of its kind in North America. GT20 is sanctioned by Cricket Canada and the International Cricket Council (Cricket’s international governing body). The primary objective of GT20 is to grow the interest in, and exposure of cricket, specifically in diverse and multicultural regions of the world – Ontario is a key market given its vast cultural make-up.

The sport of Cricket itself is the 2nd largest sport in the world (behind soccer) with 1.0 Billion fans & over 300 Million participants. T20 is the most athletic and explosive form of cricket and has awakened a new generation to the sport.

The inaugural event took place in King City, Ontario at the Maple Leaf Cricket Club. The King City event, while a significant success in attracting international talent to Canada, was hampered by its King City location, which has a limited South Asian and/or Cricket friendly population

In it’s short history, GT20 has had several notable firsts: 

  • In 2018, for the first time in the history of cricket, an ICC Associate member country was awarded the right to host a T20 league.
  • In 2019, for the first time in the history of cricket, an Indian player was permitted to play in an international T20 League. Mr. Yuvraj Singh was bestowed this honour and he took to the pitch in Brampton in 2019.
  • In season 3 of GT20, a countdown clock will be introduced to the game for the first time in the history of cricket
THE CHALLENGES

Being a new event, the challenges faced by GT20 were numerous. Not having a permanent home for Cricket in Canada meant that organizers had to get creative with how to present and host a professional tournament.

While Cricket is the 2nd largest sport in the world, to many in Canada it remains a relatively unknown and misunderstood sport. For the thousands of residents who immigrated from Cricket playing nations, GT20 offered a local opportunity to enjoy a familiar sport at a high level. But in order to reach the tipping point for GT20, it is vital to appeal to the broader sports fan market in Canada.

Not unlike most start up sports ventures, revenue generation was a core challenge. The global television rights were being well represented, but the mainstay sources of revenue (including ticket sales and sponsorships) weren’t receiving the year round attention needed to maximize their potential.

THE SOLUTION

Venue: Beginning of 2018, Cosmos Sports & Entertainment engaged with GT20 in a Chief Revenue Officer capacity. One of the first orders of business for Cosmos was to establish a permanent home for the event in a more central and fan friendly location. 

Domestic television: Cosmos was able to assist with securing a home for the broadcast rights in Canada. 

Sponsorship: Cosmos’ sponsorship team immediately began having conversations with brands about the opportunities with GT20.

Ticket Sales/Operations: Cosmos led all ticket sales and operations for the tournament. This included securing a technology partner to offer tickets online and for access control. Our sales team proactively focused on group sales, particularly for the weekday games that had lower projected attendance due to their timing.

THE RESULTS

Venue: The CAA Centre in Brampton, which is only 15 minutes from Pearson Airport, is on a 110 acre parcel of land, is visible from the 407 and 410, and is within 2 miles of the Northern border of Mississauga, quickly became the preferred location. Cosmos spearheaded discussions with the operators of the CAA Centre and the City of Brampton to use the grounds to build a temporary professional Cricket stadium. GT20 continues to build its relationship with the City of Brampton, with hopes of one day breaking ground on a permanent home for Cricket in Canada.

Domestic Television: Cosmos facilitated an introduction between GT20 and executives with TSN. This marked the first time the tournament was broadcast live on a mainstream sports network in Canada, thus helping to reach a more general sports fan audience.

Sponsorship: In the short lead up time to the tournament, Cosmos was able to secure a pair of strategic sponsors: The City of Brampton and Moosehead Breweries. The City of Brampton was keen on having its name visible to a global audience, while Moosehead became the official Beer provider for fans to enjoy while attending the matches in person.

Ticket Sales/Operations: The final attendance was approximately 75,000 for the 18 day tournament, eclipsing the previous year’s attendance. This sets GT20 up with a fanbase to build upon in subsequent years.