The ICC Cricket World Cup begins this Thursday with hosts England taking on South Africa and, in advance of the six-week tournament, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has revealed details of its ambitious marketing campaign.

As well as targeting core fans, cricket’s governing body wants the “Express Yourself” campaign to engage young audiences, particularly those aged 16 to 24, and to use a variety of media and methods to build a connection with the team.

Jenny Smith, the ECB’s head of marketing, told Marketing Week that the campaign was created in close collaboration with England captain Eoin Morgan so that it could be “authentic” and really get across the diversity of the team and the players’ personalities.

To that end, the ECB campaign, which was developed by the Matta agency and also involved PR firm Freud Communications, will pair influencers with individual team members to highlight their off-field hobbies.

Bowler Tom Curran, for example, is being paired with a travel photographer, while batsman Jason Roy features in a video with a drone racer.

“The campaign was designed to bring to life [the team’s] journey, philosophy and culture,” Smith said. “The way we have built this campaign is not about the success of the team, it is about communicating their approach to cricket and them as people.”

In addition to the videos with influencers, an “Express Yourself” film has been produced with the aim of highlighting the excitement of the World Cup’s one-day format – as opposed to Test cricket, which can last up to five days.

Various versions of the film will be shown across different channels, including YouTube, Instagram and other digital platforms, while the ECB also has high hopes about the effectiveness of cinema advertising.

“We think [cinema] is a real lean-in medium,” Smith told SportBusiness. “It’s perfect for our target audience of 16- to 24-year-olds and we know that in cinemas people tend to have their phone off and they are more focused, so it’s a great way for us to be putting this great film in front of them to capture their attention.”

Sourced from Marketing Week, SportBusiness; additional content by WARC staff