FutureBrand | The Hundred
The Hundred

The Hundred

Building a sporting revolution

Introduction

The ECB’s cricket portfolio was struggling to recruit the next generation of fans and players in England and Wales. Cricket is a sport steeped in tradition, with historic rivalries and an aura of exclusivity. For existing fans, this history was part of the appeal, but for the new audience generation, the sport was inaccessible.

Kids were not being as exposed to cricket as they once were and the sport was rated well outside of the top ten by teenagers. As a result, and despite maintaining an enthusiastic core following, cricket in England and Wales faced an uncertain future.

Challenge

The new competition needed to be better aligned with the entertainment needs of the market, with the potential to drive radical reappraisal of the ECB-run professional game as younger, more inclusive and diverse.

It had to be disruptive and engaging, broadening the games appeal by challenging perceptions of cricket by being unlike anything that had come before: a vibrant, dramatic, fast-paced cricket competition.

Solution

The Hundred was the first of its kind in the world, a disruptive sports competition, fit for the digital era. This fundamental shift was reflected in visual choices which were a significant departure from what had come before; striking colours, graphic imagery and expressive typography all align to capture the attention of cricket fans - old and new.

Its brand identity emerged from a combination of vibrant, inclusive positivity and contemporary urban grit. The key graphic device was a hazard-style chevron, selected to signal action, risk and drama – the essence of the new tournament. We also opted for an unexpected and striking pink and green colour palette, which enabled the identity to stand out across all touchpoints, from matchday tickets to television graphics.

Informed by a wealth of research, eight-team identities were created to reflect the character and values of the individual hometown regions they represented. From colours and fonts to graphics and motion, the design choices were selected to resonate with a younger, broader audience. The London Spirit identity for example, combines a unique mix of traditional and contemporary visual styles that at first seem strange together but reflect the eclectic and multicultural nature of the city and its communal culture.

By being different to the rest of the cricket landscape The Hundred offers a brand-new way into the sport, whilst ensuring all existing competitions continue to thrive.

It’s visually disruptive because that’s exactly what it is – a brand positively disrupting the sport of cricket itself.

Results

The driving idea behind The Hundred was to create a form of cricket that had mass appeal built into its DNA, thereby drawing in more diverse audiences than ever before, whether that be families, children, or other ‘atypical’ cricket fans. The opportunity to redefine the sport cannot be underestimated and, already, the impact The Hundred has had on women’s cricket has been touted as transformational by both the players themselves and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

"We have to maximise our window, because if we maximise our window and we engage people in a different way, the rest of cricket will benefit - and that's the whole point. This doesn't work in isolation; it works alongside the rest of the game. If The Hundred does its job, the whole game grows, and that's what we're trying to do." - Sanjay Patel, Managing Director - England and Wales Cricket Board.

“The Hundred is very clear in saying ‘we exist to throw crickets doors open to all’. That absolutely has a role to play in helping transform how cricket is seen in this country, and beyond.” - Nick Sykes, Global CEO - FutureBrand.

Capabilities involved