Latest News | 24 February 2022

Cricket club’s lengthy innings as a Bondholder has helped it grow

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At today’s, Annual Business Event, Marketing Derby paid a special tribute to its long-serving Bondholders. Among them is Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Here, in his own words, chief executive Ryan Duckett, explains how being a Bondholder has helped the club evolve and grow.

I first came to Derby when I joined Derbyshire County Cricket Club in February 2013, initially as commercial director.

Having moved south to work in Derby, one of the first events I attended was a Marketing Derby breakfast event – and it struck me straight away what a strong business community there was in the city.

This event was almost nine years ago to the day and the club had only recently joined as one of the original Bondholders.

Ryan Duckett

I believe this relationship with the city has played a key part in our commercial growth over a number of years, helping to establish The Incora County Ground as a 365-day-a-year events venue.

We now offer far more than just cricket, including major concerts, Derby’s largest annual fireworks night, conferences, meetings and celebration events.

Over this time, we have developed strong partnerships with a wide range of Bondholders – not only as sponsors or hospitality guests, but also using the services of fellow Bondholders to help support the business and grow.

Heading towards the end of March 2020 we were putting the final preparations together to host our annual Marketing Derby Bondholder Breakfast.

This event has always been well attended, a key event in our calendar at which we were planning to showcase an exciting summer of cricket and events!

For obvious reasons we had to initially postpone the event with only a few days’ notice as we all went into lockdown number one!

We foolishly hoped this postponement might only be for a few weeks, a month maybe…

After what has been a really tough couple of years for us all, I am delighted to say that the invite for our 2022 Breakfast is not far away and, as things stand, we are optimistic of a much more normal summer!

The fantastic support we have had from key stakeholders, including many Bondholders, has meant we are in a far stronger position than we might have been.

This is despite having to play matches mainly behind closed doors or with restricted crowds and our non-cricket business being devastated in the main for the last two years.

As a result, we are in strong position to take the club forward with an action-packed summer of cricket and events, as well as some exciting ground improvements to introduce over the next year to 18 months.

One of our liveliest events of a more normal year has always been our Marketing Derby Bondholder Beer & Balti event in the Greene King IPA Marquee.

We are expecting crowds to be back to full capacity this summer and I am hoping we will see many Bondholders back for their first taste of T20 cricket since 2019.

With the support of many Bondholders backing our bid, in 2017 the Incora County Ground was a host venue for the ICC Women’s World Cup.

Building on this legacy we will again be hosting two England Women’s International T20 matches this summer, which brings great profile to the club and the city.

A key part of our commercial growth has been establishing The Incora County Ground as a major events venue.

After hosting Elton John and Little Mix, I am delighted that after two Covid-hit years we will finally be able to welcome Michael Bublé to Derby on Saturday 9 July.

For any Bondholders who grew up in the 80s we will also be hosting Tears for Fears and Alison Moyet on Tuesday 12 July.

The reason we have worked so hard to establish ourselves as a 365-day-a-year events venue is so we are able to increase our investment in cricket.

In 2019 we reached our first ever T20 Finals Day and after a couple of seasons disrupted by Covid, we are hoping that the appointment of Mickey Arthur, one of the highest profile coaches in world cricket, will take us forward with more success on the field this summer.

Mickey coming in as head of cricket has already started to have a positive impact with the signing of two established world-class stars in Shan Masood and Suranga Lakmal.

Working with our partners the Derbyshire Cricket Foundation, a key part of our strategy is to increase the number of men, women, boys and girls playing cricket in Derby City and the wider county and make the game more accessible to the community.

Despite the challenges of the last few years, participation numbers continue to increase across all demographics and the foundation continues to deliver positive lifestyle projects in partnership with key stakeholders right across the city.

To help maintain this work and raise money for the charity I am delighted that the foundation will again be organising their T20 Walkathon on Friday 24 June.

I know a number of Bondholders have taken part in this event over the years and enjoyed a few stop-offs on route!

After the challenges of the last few years, I am looking forward to 2022 with a great deal of optimism for both the club and the city.

It was great to play our part in supporting Derby’s 2025 City of Culture bid and helping to showcase what the city has to offer.

Mickey Arthur

The pandemic highlighted how much we enjoy going to sporting and cultural events and I am hoping we can all make up for this over the next few years.

Like all Bondholders I am hoping our bid is successful but regardless it again demonstrated the sense of collaboration across the city.

Almost two years on from our last scheduled Bondholder event, we can’t wait to welcome many of you back to The Incora County Ground and share with you in more detail what we have planned on and off the field over the next 12 months.

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