Cricket Australia calls in Octagon for North American media rights

03 August 2021 3 min. read
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With a fast-growing interest in the sport worldwide, Cricket Australia has turned to Octagon to support with growing its fan base in North America.

Cricket Australia has called in the international sports marketing and consulting firm to advise on North American media rights. In addition to packaging and negotiating rights for the US, Canadian and Caribbean markets, which expired at the end of the 2021 home season, Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting division will also provide Australian cricket’s governing body with research and analysis.

“We are excited to partner with Octagon to help highlight our world-class matches and athletes on an even greater global stage,” said Nikki Linney, Head of Media Rights at Cricket Australia. “As a leader in international sports media consulting, we’re looking forward to Octagon helping us connect with new fans of our men’s and women’s national teams in new markets and continue to grow the game of cricket across the globe.”

Cricket Australia calls in Octagon for North American media rights

Established in 1983 as Advantage International and later re-branded, Octagon sits within the Interpublic Group as one of the largest sports agencies in the world, with 1,000-plus employees operating out of 50 offices in 22 countries worldwide. According to figures from Forbes, Octagon last year had $2.4 billion worth of contract value on its books, including the record five-year $228 million NBA deal for Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“Reaching a global audience of nearly 3 billion people each year via the sport’s current international media partners, cricket continues to be one of the most popular sports in the world,” said Daniel Cohen, head of Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting, who noted a growing demand for elite cricket content in North America. “We are excited to partner with Cricket Australia, with its long-standing history of innovation and celebrated Aussie brand of cricket.”

According to Octagon, cricket is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, with almost 20 million fans and more than 200,000 players nationwide. While the sport has a rich history in parts of the Caribbean, cricket is less well established in Canada and the US – despite the two countries competing against each other in the first ever international test match in 1844 in New York in front of 20,000 spectators.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia will also be teaming up with Microsoft and tech consultancy HCL – its official digital technology partner – to host a global cricket-themed hackathon over the coming months, with final submissions due by September 2nd. Dubbed ‘HCL – CA TechJam 2021’, the event is seeking technology-led solutions in the areas of player performance, fan engagement and community engagement, with $40,000 in prizes up for grabs.

Cricket Australia in May confirmed the full-time appointment of interim CEO and former PwC assistant director Nick Hockley – with Hockley among a number of former consultants making up CA’s board and executive teams. CFO Samantha Douglas started out with EY in Melbourne, while Mike Osborne, General Manager for Technology, was the former global director for technology at Deloitte. KPMG’s Tasmania chairman Paul Green also serves on the board.