Set out to redefine how cricket is administered, shared, analysed and followed- Simon Baker and Jarred Sewell offered humorous and honest insights into their cricket social network thus far.
They’re making their footprint on the world, with 7 offices around the world targeting huge markets such as India, Sri Lanka and the UK. Such developments mirror their strong relationship with the International Cricket Council and a huge passion for the game. “One of our big points of difference is our data-driven crowd-sourced model as opposed to actually having to put bums in stadiums,” says Baker.
At a time when smartphones and touchscreens were making an appearance, founder Baker and fellow cricketer Sewell were well aware of the difficulties of manual scoring. CricHQ’s original business plan was to “make scoring cool by opening it up to a whole bunch of new scorers and look to monetize that somehow using social media and bring it into the digital world.”
They found a massive opportunity within cricket due to the enormous amount of data used and a market that was currently very commercially and technologically underdeveloped. Baker put this down to the traditional nature of the game. “One of the things we found was that everyone that was administering the sport was doing it really paper-based. There was a huge opportunity to provide a cloud-based data-driven platform.”
He says to get people on board and break traditional habits; you need to give them benefits. “Users can share scores with friends and relatives. Grandma and granddad can watch the stats live if they live down in Nelson and the game is here in Wellington.” CricHQ is honing in on that grass-roots level niche area, not just the top level of the game.
“From a startup point of view, it’s always been important to us to be generating revenue,” says Baker. This has not been without excitement though. Baker and Sewell entertained with “highlights” from their cross-cultural ventures and some of the challenges that come with expanding the venture overseas.
Baker says the key to a small New Zealand company with a handful of people raising market awareness on the world stage is by working with key strategic partnerships. CricHQ has utilized the likes of Nokia and Samsung by “providing them with unique content and receiving brand awareness in return.” Sewell spoke of executing clever marketing plans on tight budgets before the pair answered over a dozen questions to a room of eager hand-raisers.