Thursday, April 18, 2024

Queensland Cricket: Brisbane Heat’s Triumph Fuels Record Participation Surge

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Photo Credit: Queensland Cricket

A successful summer for the Brisbane Heat and a winning season for Australia has delivered a strong surge in participation throughout Queensland.

The high profile of the Heat’s BBL championship and WBBL runners-up teams, coupled with World Cup success and a victorious summer for the Australian women and men’s teams, has seen Queensland Cricket achieve several participation milestones.

The 2023-24 season attracted 10,000 Woolworths Cricket Blast registrations, exceeding last season’s numbers by more than 1000 participants.

Overall, registrations for the summer grew by 10 percent, with girls’ participation continuing to increase, growing by almost 30 percent.

Among successful regions were Brisbane North and Bayside East and Redlands (BEARS) which returned exponential growth in girls’ participation, by 152% and 290% respectively.

The BEARS region was a stand-out nationally, with an overall increase of 205% in participation that was the fourth highest in the country.

North Queensland, South-East Queensland, Mackay & Whitsundays also produced notable increases, as junior numbers went up throughout the State.

Queensland Cricket CEO Terry Svenson said the State-wide participation increase had generated numbers that were almost at pre-pandemic levels.

“The really encouraging thing we have seen this summer is that every region has had a success story, including some very encouraging numbers overall,’’ he said.

“The hard work of the volunteers and the QC community cricket staff over the past few years has produced tangible returns.

“We are seeing areas like the Gold Coast continue the upward trajectory that has been in evidence since 2020, while Far North Queensland is progressing rapidly with its growth as cricket expands into more remote areas.”

“Breaking the 10,000 mark for the Woolworths Cricket Blast programs flows on the from the great work of the volunteers and staff, inspired no doubt by the Brisbane Heat men’s and women’s team and Australia’s dominant efforts across men’s and women’s international matches.

“As we celebrate this milestone, we look forward to building upon this success, fostering inclusivity, and inspiring even more individuals to embrace the spirit of cricket,” Svenson said.

The participation growth surge follows a stand-out summer from the Brisbane Heat club.

The Heat were the most successful club across the KFC Big Bash League and Weber Women’s Big Bash League in 2023-24 after finishing runners-up in the WBBL, complementing the club’s BBL|13 premiership, the second men’s title in the club’s history.

The club averaged 25,787 attendees for its five BBL home games at the Gabba, a year-on-year increase of 35 percent.

The Heat averaged 634k viewers per game across the BBL season with streaming numbers through Kayo, Foxtel Go and Foxtel Now not included.

Channel Seven’s free to air coverage was a particular highlight of the summer with Brisbane viewership for Heat matches increasing by 40 percent and metro TV numbers increasing by 8 percent. Kayo reported earlier in the season that viewing numbers are up 16 percent, while short form BBL content was up 112 percent, making it the most streamed BBL season to date.

The Final was watched by a national average of over 952,000 fans across Channel Seven and Fox Cricket, while Kayo’s coverage was the second highest ever streamed BBL game.  Channel Seven’s coverage also reached over 2.1 million people nationally on free to air TV.

The Heat’s WBBL Final against the Adelaide Strikers had an average national viewership of over 410k, the highest rating WBBL match in two seasons.

The Heat continued to lead the way in social media engagement with the club maintaining their position as Oceania’s most followed club across all social channels, with engagement growing by 37 percent.

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