This article was first published in the Winter 2014 issue of OnWindows
Cricket Australia is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in Australia. The organisation operates all of the Australian national representative cricket sides and is responsible for organising and hosting Test tours and One Day Internationals with other nations, as well as scheduling home international fixtures. In charge of the sport’s regional development across the Pacific region, Cricket Australia has a vision for cricket to be Australia’s favourite sport.
In 2013, as part of its agreement with Accenture to deliver live streaming and subscriber management services, Cricket Australia made it possible for cricket fans to view matches live on their computers, smartphones and tablets using the Accenture Video Solution and digital video capabilities.
The live viewing service, made available via the Cricket Australia Live: The Official App, debuted just in time for the Ashes Test Series, making it possible for cricket fans to follow the action, no matter where they were.
“While nothing quite compares to being at a match live, users of the Cricket Australia Live: The Official App and the subscription streaming service are still able to catch all of the cricket action wherever they may be,” says Cricket Australia’s executive general manager of media, communications and marketing Ben Amarfio.
Cricket Australia selected Accenture because it offers integrated digital solutions based on its Accenture Video Solution software products and specialised managed services like its Live Events and Sports solution, and Accenture Mobility services. The entire solution, which is being hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud for Cricket Australia, offers broad capabilities, including live adaptive streaming, event monitoring, and IP-based video acquisition and transmission.
“In today’s digital era, consumers feels more empowered, both in terms of what they expect to consume and how they choose to consume it,” says Russell Smyth, Accenture Australia communications, media and technology lead. “Designed with fans in mind, this innovative service will allow Cricket Australia subscribers to enjoy high-quality streaming on their computers, smartphones and tablets.”
Today, Cricket Australia is continuing its drive to provide enhanced digital experiences directly to cricket fans, ensuring they can follow the action no matter where they are around the world. As part of this, earlier in 2014, the organisation named Accenture its official digital technology partner, which means that over the next four years, the two companies will work together to further transform Cricket Australia’s digital capabilities.
Work will include mobile application development, web portal implementation, analytics, social media, and content management and integration across all of Cricket Australia’s digital properties. Accenture Digital will also deliver and maintain all digital assets, providing cricket fans with the ability to receive improved and personalised content on any device.
“Accenture will team with Cricket Australia to deliver integrated digital business and technology services, positioning the sport of cricket as a leader in using digital technologies to improve the fan experience,” says Smyth. “As consumer viewing habits continue to evolve, it is vital for all sporting organisations to re-imagine how they can create an incredible digital experience for their fan base.”
Amarfio hopes that this broadened partnership will help Cricket Australia to further enhance its digital offering, and provide its fans with more viewing options that ever.
“We recognised that there was an appetite among our fans for greater and improved access to cricket action, and the appointment of Accenture demonstrates our dedication to providing a digital experience that meets this demand,” he says. “Accenture demonstrated its capabilities with the development and implementation of Cricket Australia’s streaming service last season, and I am confident that our broadened partnership will deliver world-class digital solutions to bring our fans closer to the cricket action on any device, anywhere and anytime.”
Already, through the partnership, Cricket Australia has introduced new digital offerings, including a redesign of its cricket news site cricket.com.au, the creation of a new corporate Cricket Australia website, cricketaustralia.com.au, a redesign of the Cricket Australia Live app and the introduction of new functionality across each of its digital properties.
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