The ECB appointed InCrowd to deliver the official app for the inaugural season of The Hundred, to support the range of entirely new cricket concepts with a suite of innovative new products, features and integrations.
The Hundred was built from the ground up for the modern entertainment consumer, creating a platform that has propelled new cricket heroes into stardom by enabling great stories to unfold, as told by fans, players and commentators in their own right; and the official The Hundred App played a fundamentally important part. InCrowd is incredibly proud to have worked with The Hundred for its inaugural tournament, with plans to build on the impressive figures from 2021 in the 2022 edition.
Total app users across the competition
Digital Achievements awarded for fan check ins
Tickets linked to the InCrowd Ticket Wallet, with 135K identified as “non purchasers”
Interactions with polling and run predictor activations
Of The Hundred users registered as female compared to 7% on other cricket channels
“When it came to selecting an agency for The Hundred app, InCrowd were at the top of our list based on our previous work together… they are hardworking, passionate and invested in our objectives. Ultimately I see them as an extension to the ECB digital team..”
From inception, The Hundred focused on “changing the game”, aspiring to change the perception of Cricket in the UK, make it more accessible, transforming the women’s & girl’s game and finally engaging young people.
Central to this was The Hundred app, a primary tool in creating a truly unique digital experience for cricket fans with a suite of new engagement tools to drive pre-, mid- and post-match engagement and efficient ticket and merchandise purchase journeys.The role of the app was to also help introduce new fans of the sport, facilitating better data capture for current and new audiences in a 100% digitally ticketed event.
Delivery of the following was essential for the app:
- Brand prominence/consistency – a new brand in itself, The Hundred also featured new teams that had their own branding requiring consistent promotion.
- Simplicity of the game – not only was it fundamental that the game format be understood, but that the previous rules of cricket maintained by The Hundred be understood by new fans to the sport.
- An event, not a match – with a focus on young fans and families, attending The Hundred needed to be a day out that created lasting memories.
- Fan Interactivity – engaging fans throughout the day required new levels of interactivity in the app and by extension in the venues.
- Mobile Ticketing – attendance needed to be swift, covid safe and environmentally sustainable.
Solution & Success
Work began with the ECB in October 2019; discovery sessions were incredibly detailed with much to discuss and qualify for inclusion on the new app. This was an entirely new sports tournament, with a new format, new teams and a range of ‘components’ that were not commonplace in the UK, such as the player draft.
Brand prominence and consistency
Successful fan apps are based on connecting talent with fans, creating heroes and bringing fans into the conversation.
Teams participating were brand new, with no real loyalty from fans aside from locality and so it was crucial to establish team and player identities early on to drive fan affiliation and support prior to the competition starting. Through a smart design process and advanced functionality, the look and feel of the app was “reskinned” in team branding with team content taking priority. A personalised experience was created for new fans, based on their chosen preferences, increasing affiliation whilst helping to drive merchandise revenue due to strategically placed and personalised promotions.
In addition, skill-sets and traits were part of player profiles to further educate new cricket audiences and to build further understanding of the game.
Creating an event with fan interactivity
Getting fans involved in the game was a day 1 priority.
Activations engaged fans throughout the event, with access to a range of polls to cast votes and have their say, AR integrations to bring them closer to players and other in-game activations like the run predictor. This “follow along” gamification was key to engaging younger fans in a way they are already used to across other entertainment apps and to make them feel part of the experience itself rather than a passive watcher as their votes and actions had tangible consequences.
The ‘cricket content’ displayed throughout the app was intentionally designed to focus on the most relevant information only, rather than the peripheral stats more commonly seen in Cricket. Innovative displays like ‘WinViz’ and ‘Who Won Each Ball’ gave a clear indication as to what was happening and why it mattered, which in turn led to greater understanding about the game itself.
Designed to be seamless and stress-free, the InCrowd Ticket Wallet provided a swift way to transfer tickets to friends & family and a safe & efficient way to enter venues.
By including tickets The Hundred app was essential to all attendees and made ticket management as easy as possible for them, as well as providing the ECB with a really valuable and successful data capture method. The app also provided key routes to know and learn more about cricket in general and begin the participation pathways.
2021 also saw a rapidly changing landscape in terms of safety regulations. It was always the plan for The Hundred to be the first multi-venue competition to be exclusively 100% digital ticketing, but an update was made by InCrowd to include a Covid Declaration to confirm each individual was eligible and to keep pace with the changing regulatory environment. The InCrowd Ticket Wallet allowed and tracked cross OS sharing, ensuring that the ECB would know every ticket holder attending matches.
- #1 Sports App in Play & Apple Stores in July 2021
- 297,887 total users
- 4,189,179 total sessions
- 33% of app users were new to the ECB
- 498,000 tickets linked to the app (135,000 “non purchasers”)
- 135,000 tickets were shared from the purchaser to other attendees
- 469,170 Covid declarations were completed
- 87,650 votes cast
- 45,377 unique voters
- 228,715 run predictions made
- 11,437,271 pushes sent (2.7% click rate)
- 212,762 total content views
- 32.3m total page views (vs 17.1m on the website)