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Keith Prowse, the Kia Oval’s official hospitality provider, has observed a booking trend as corporates look for hospitality options away from the Olympics.The historic Test ground, which is set to host eight days of international cricket in summer 2012, has noted an upsurge in enquiries from customers and hospitality agents, expressing an interest for non-Olympic entertaining. As corporates hesitate when faced with the five-figure rates being offered for some Olympic packages, cricket has emerged as a best value option for many. The Kia Oval could potentially host over 44 hours of international action in 2012, making it a favourite with companies keen to enjoy maximum face-to-face time with their guests.
A total of 6,141 2012 packages have been sold across the OCS Lounges, OCS Boxes, the Roof Terrace, the Pavilion Rooms, the Bedser Boxes and Lock & Laker Boxes for England’s NatWest Series One Day Internationals against West Indies (Tuesday 19th June), Australia (Sunday 1st July) and South Africa (Friday 31st August), as well as the Investec Test match between England and South Africa (Thursday 19th – Sunday 22nd July). This represents a 14% increase in bookings for the upcoming season when compared to the total in February 2011, discounting the theory that the Olympic and Paralympic Games could have an adverse effect on other standout dates in the UK’s traditional hospitality season.
By conducting research in partnership with Experian’s PH Group, Keith Prowse discovered that a younger generation of companies now opts to entertain at international cricket matches.
While cricket has often been associated with attracting the bastions of British business, it has been found that 33 per cent of companies entertaining at One Day Internationals and Test matches at the Kia Oval during 2010 were formed in the new millennium (post-2000). This compares to 19 per cent of companies taking clients and employees to Twickenham Stadium for international rugby fixtures in the same year.
Ted Walker, Head of Marketing at Keith Prowse, said: “We have been intrigued by the latest feedback reported by our sales team at the Kia Oval. Agents in particular have made no bones about the fact they are searching for Olympic alternatives, which they say has been influenced in part by prices, lack of availability and demand for all-day events. We believe that the three quality international teams playing England and the raft of hospitality options available will make the Kia Oval one of 2012’s entertaining hubs.”