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Birmingham Bears

Creating a T20 cricket brand and online presence

In a league of their own

The popularity of T20 cricket is growing rapidly: Warwickshire County Cricket Club set out to capitalise on the opportunity by developing a dedicated brand for their T20 side, Birmingham Bears.

Birmingham Bears are the first team to breakaway from the traditional county structure and focus on finding a new audience through a city-facing identity. Warwickshire County Cricket Club challenged Class Creative to create a brand and website with a vision to cast the team into a league of their own.

The strategy

Birmingham Bears’ primary goal is to build brand awareness with younger cricket fans. The wider ambition is to dominate the T20 category and be seen as a template of best practice to keep ahead of any structural changes made by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

In order to deliver this objective, the Birmingham Bears brand had to become accessible to youngsters, schools and families through merchandise, digital and local community initiatives. The brand went through various iterations and re-designs before Class Creative came up with a concept that highly resonated with players, fans, staff and everyone associated with the club.

Comprehensive brand guidelines and consultancy

The new crest sits proudly on all playing kit, merchandise and digital platforms whilst featuring prominently within community marketing initiatives. Class Creative delivered comprehensive brand guidelines and consultancy on marketing roll-out.

Expert delivery

Class Creative delivered a retail-friendly brand that has captivated a younger audience and increased merchandise revenue. An exciting new product range was launched off the back of the new identity, including match-day shirts, caps, golf balls, confectionery, casual wear, bed linen and other items targeted at a younger audience.

The club launched Birmingham Bears Beer. The Beer is served at Edgbaston stadium and at more than fifty pubs and bars in and around Birmingham.

Responsive web design

Interactivity and real-time content are some of the best ways to improve online fan engagement. Class Creative connected the website to Opta’s live data feed. In-play runs, wickets and scores are fed straight to the website, along with post-match fixtures, results and tables, which are updated automatically.

The digital landscape of how sports fans access, engage and share digital content is constantly evolving. 49% of Birmingham Bears’ website traffic happens via mobile devices. The newly created Birmingham Bears website gives fans a seamless user experience, whether they access the content on their smartphone at the match, tablet at home or desktop at work.

Streamlined design across devices is a large website, with an ever-growing list of players, fixtures and corporate hospitality services. As a result of the large amount of content, Class Creative devised a repeatable module layout allowing consistency in the interface to streamline the design across different devices.

36% of Birmingham Bears’ traffic originates from social media. The ability to and, read and share posts on any device were key to making the website a success. Class Creative used Algolia-hosted search API that delivers instant results. When users reach articles, they can share the content via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and WhatsApp.

“Class Creative instinctively understands the fine balance of preserving heritage whilst pioneering a new vision for the club. Edgbaston had a tough brief, as we aren’t a single brand, but three, each with a completely different profile and target market. They delivered a fantastic brand and digital presence for the Birmingham Bears. Class Creative provided a solution to a difficult task. We continue to develop our relationship with the company and pursue our ambition of become the best cricket business in the world.”

– Sean Miller, Birmingham Bears