Cricket Australia sends technology in to bat

How Australia's national cricketing body uses IT to help its players and attract fans

Stadium tech

In addition to supporting its players with technology, Cricket Australia also helps sports reporters file cricket match stories. For example, it supplies Wi-Fi devices to media at certain grounds where existing stadium systems are deficient.

Last season it implemented an online accreditation tool for all media and key stakeholders.

“This summer [2012-13] we are launching an ‘at match’ accreditation mobile solution,” Twomey says.

“This is a custom-built road case with tablets where anyone who needs to be accredited at the ground can self-register, be approved and print their passes.”

Behind the scenes

Within Cricket Australia, staff use laptops and a mixture of BlackBerrys and iPhones. While the organisation has a bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy in place, Twomey says that it supplies devices to the majority of staff.

Software employed by the organisation includes Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 and Microsoft’s Dynamics 2011 CRM package.

“We don’t have any immediate plans to move to the Windows 8 OS as we completed a migration of our data centre in September 2012,” she says.

“It was not only business critical systems [migrated] but also publicly facing websites and services that needed to be benchmarked, pilot tested and migrated with a minimal impact on our customers.”

By the numbers On Facebook, Cricket Australia has 1.5 million fans

88,665 accounts follow Cricket Australia on Twitter

It is listed in 22,500 Circles on Google Plus

The T20 Big Bash app was downloaded 90,0000 times across the iOS and Android platforms in the 2011-12 season.

The crowd goes wild

Like all sporting organisations in the 21st century, Cricket Australia is harnessing the power of the Internet to attract and retain fans.

“We have a collection of digital assets which we build and operate ourselves in addition to working with our commercial partners like Vodafone to produce apps such as Cricket Live,” says online product manager Kane Washington.

The Cricket Live app includes live match video streaming. It was developed in 2009 and supports iPhone and Android devices.

“This app is very important in our strategy and puts Australian cricket content in the hands of our fans anywhere at any time,” he says.

For the 2012-13 cricket season, the Cricket Live app will have domestic live scores included within it for the first time.

In addition to the Cricket Live app, the sporting body has developed an iOS and Android app for the 20/20 shorter version of cricket called the KFC Big Bash T20 League app.

Fans can customise it to the team they follow, whether it be the Melbourne Stars or the Adelaide Strikers.

“The app can be customised it to feature the team’s players, news and latest scores. It also integrates social networking into the app including Twitter feeds during the game,” Washington says.

According to Washington, there were 90,000 downloads of the app across iOS and Android in the 2011-12 cricket season.

Cricket Australia also operates where it provides live scores on a ball-by-ball basis for matches ranging from the Australian men’s team and the CBA Southern Stars right through to interstate men’s and women’s senior competitions.

These live scores are also fed out via the Cricket Live app.

“We live stream the Bupa Sheffield Shield matches onto the Cricket Australia website from all the major venues around Australia,” he says.

According to Washington, the organisation has received “very positive” feedback from fans about making matches available in a format which is convenient.

“There is a fan base out there that is heavily invested in interstate cricket.”

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