It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.
Cricket Australia will have a new head of marketing later this month following the appointment of experienced marketer, Sonia Bijelic, to replace Julian Dunne.
Bijelic will report to executive general manager of media, communications and marketing, Ben Amarfio, and is responsible for building consumer interest around the game’s various formats and brands, overseeing data and customer strategy, growing match attendance, supporting Cricket Australia’s participation programs.
Although the head of marketing title is a new one, Bijelic is replacing former senior manager of marketing, Julian Dunne, who joined the AFL as head of brand and market insights in May.
Bijelic was most recently the director of direct-to-consumer channels at Treasury Wine Estates for just under a year, and has 20 years’ marketing experience across a variety of organisations in Australia. The list includes senior marketing roles with The Walt Disney Company, ANZ, GE Money and Telstra.
“Sonia brings with her a great amount of marketing experience having worked with some of Australia’s most well-known organisations,” Amarfio said in a statement.
“We are very excited to have Sonia joining the Cricket Australia team and I am confident that she will make a significant impact on Australian cricket.”
Bijelic starts at Cricket Australia on 21 July. She told CMO she was attracted to the opportunity of working in one of the most popular sports in Australia and the world.
"The head of marketing role at Cricket Australia gives me the privilege of working in this exciting sport and being surrounded by this passion and energy each and every day – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that," she said.
"Cricket Australia’s vision is clear – for cricket to be Australia’s favourite sport. My job is to help deliver on that vision by driving viewership, participation, game attendance and fan passion."
Key to this is diversifying cricket's fan base, Bijelic said. "This means growing interest in cricket among new audiences, including young people, females and Australians with a non-cricketing background, while continuing to foster cricket's traditional audience.
"To that end, I hope to bring a perspective on cricket to the role that will help us at Cricket Australia diversify into these audiences."
Bijelic plans to tap into her wide-ranging career experiences, which have given her exposure to a variety of marketing initiatives, techniques and learnings, as well as her personal insights, to fulfil the role.
"In addition to my professional experiences, I can also leverage personal insights of my own in the role - I’m a female, I’m a mum, I’m ethnic by background, and I didn’t grow up in a family that followed cricket. My little sample of me, myself and I represents a few of the new audiences I’ll be trying to tap into," she added.
"All of this will help me as I work with my team and colleagues at Cricket Australia on how we can attract new audiences and diversify our cricket fan base - and deliver on our vision of making cricket Australia’s favourite sport."
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