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Eve Crotty-Joyce at Coliseum Europe Image: Eve Crotty-Joyce & Marylebone CC

The ever-smiling Eve Crotty-Joyce is a technically accomplished person. And her present role at the Marylebone Cricket Club best defines her tech knowledge. She is the Technology Project Manager for Marylebone Cricket Club working at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London (UK).

Crotty-Joyce has worked on various projects at the Ground since she started on her present role in the year 2019 including the Lord’s Venue App, In Suite Ordering and Workforce Management. She also plays a key role in developing the MCC Technology strategy across key areas of delivery, working to consolidate the MCC IT Estate.
 

Marylebone Cricket Club

The Marylebone Cricket Club is a cricket club founded in 1787 and based since 1814 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, which it owns, in St John’s Wood, London (UK). The club was formerly the governing body of cricket and still holds considerable global influence.
 

Lord’s Cricket Ground

The 31,100-capacity Lord’s Cricket Ground, commonly known as Lord’s, is a cricket venue in St John’s Wood, London (UK). Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and is the home of the Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), the European Cricket Council (ECC) and, until August 2005, the International Cricket Council (ICC). Lord’s is widely referred to as the ‘Home of Cricket’ and is home to the world’s oldest sporting museum.

In an exclusive animated conversation with ‘Coliseum’, Eve Crotty-Joyce, Technology Project Manager, Marylebone Cricket Club, UK, shared how the club is trying to leverage technology to attain its key goals like Member and Visitor Interactions, Operational Excellence and Driving Sales, and Marketing and Partnerships. She also said that the club gives utmost importance to its Members and believe in the art of sharing and caring and learning from each other.
 

Marylebone Cricket Club at a glance

  • The MCC is one of the world’s oldest and finest cricket – 1787;
  • Lord’s ‘Home of Cricket’ 1814;
  • 18,000 Full Members, 6,000 Associate Members and 2,000 + Candidates on the waiting list;
  • 400,000 visitors per year;
  • Host venue for England teams and Middlesex County Cricket Club; and
  • Matchday-related F&B hospitality offerings and non-matchday tours.

 
The Marylebone Cricket Club has a storied history and basks in its own glory as Eve Crotty-Joyce put in, “We rest on the laurels of MCC which is an interesting piece of history.”
 

MCC members

The Marylebone Cricket Club holds its Members in high esteem. These Members own the Ground and all of MCC’s assets (the most famous of which is the Ashes Urn), they govern the club through its various committees and some 2,000 of them represent MCC on the field of play each year.

To buttress the above, Crotty-Joyce stated, “The Members are involved in every single operation of the club including catering.”
 

Current situation/challenges

Historically, the focus in IT was on infrastructure (the plumbing) with a ‘piecemeal’ approach to the club’s business systems driven by projects/departmental agendas/cost control…

  • Departmental/Silo-centric;
  • Proliferation of niche systems;
  • Multiple data sources;
  • Multiple P2P interfaces;
  • No E2E process thinking; and
  • No IT architectural vision.

 

Information-sharing

She informed that the club’s top brass is always “brainstorming” on the right strategies to be adopted on information-related projects and how sharing information is key to attain set goals.
 

Silo mentality

The silo mentality prevalent in the Marylebone Cricket Club is a huge challenge. The employees in different divisions of the club do not want to share information with each other. This mentality does not augur well for the club reducing the organization’s efficiency and, at worst, contributing to a damaged corporate culture as she pointed out, “We are also physically silo-centric – one team in one corner of the ground and another team in another corner.”
 

MCC goals

  • Member/Customer-centric;
  • Broader ‘Platforms’ adoption;
  • Master Data (1-Version Truth) – “Having one version of truth – the master source of data.”
  • API/SOA systems design;
  • Think E2E (Process/Data); and
  • Clear IT ‘End-Game’.

 
Affirmed Crotty-Joyce, “We have a number of different goals on different things that we want to do and we are also very much about cricket.”

Continuing with her tech talk, she stated, “Actually, designing through our systems and looking at application programming interface (API) is challenging. Another challenge is having a clear IT ‘end-game’ ready for us which are in sync with our idea of a venue in a box – a one system that does everything and leveraging few key systems to deliver on few key goals. We need to reimagine our approach to all our different business systems, all our data flows across the organization in order to transform club outcomes.”
 

Concept: Venue In A Box – 3 X Core Areas

After examining challenges at the MCC and speaking with other sports clubs/venues – few common issues in the following 3 x core areas in case of all sports clubs/venues:

  • MVI: Far better understanding of our Members and Visitors Interactions (MVI) and how we can best meet these to enhance both NPS and loyalty;
  • ODE: Winning through superior End-2-End process and systems and data for our Operational Delivery Excellence (ODE) to drive costs down and NPS up; and
  • SMP: Better insights into the value and availability of our “inventory” and how we sell/market/partner (SMP) these assets in order to benefit both revenue and NPS.

 
She added, “A venue in a box is really kind of three core areas and we look up at the common issues. Members interact with each other and share their experiences about the venue and we also do our best to earn Members’ loyalty. As far as Operational Delivery Excellence is concerned, it depends on the staff performance and their performance in the restaurants and catering areas and the physical space as well.”

She continued, “As far as the Sales, Marketing and Partnership aspect is concerned, we are looking at the value and the brand and partnering with the key people.”
 

Lord’s

 

MVI

  • What do M&Vs really need/want?;
  • Outside facing: Website/E-commerce; and
  • Outward facing: Launch new Lord’s venue app.

 

ODE

  • Review EZE processes, data flows and use cases;
  • Optimize staffing; and
  • Optimize recruitment and training.

 

SMP

  • Focus on a new customer relationship management (CRM) tool on high-value assets;
  • Deploy new virtual reality and 3D models to support sales; and
  • Drive insights from better data analytics.

 

Lord’s Venue App features:

The App includes a link through to the Lord’s ticketing website, from where one can review availability and purchase tickets for forthcoming matches.

  • Plan your day – everything you need to know ahead of your visit to Lord’s;
  • Tickets – access and share your tickets within the app and enjoy a swift, contactless ticket entry;
  • Food and beverages – find the perfect refreshment for your day at Lord’s and browse your options from the comfort of your seat;
  • Matchday alerts – stay up to date on the latest action from the Ground by receiving notifications straight to your device; and
  • Interactive features – take part in our interactive quizzes, photowalls and votes to get involved in the matchday experience.

 
Crotty-Joyce further pointed out, “We have not even been asking our Members what they want. But now we are trying to get their feedback on key issues. No one uses a venue app, for example. They are not very interested. For last season we are trying to roll out a venue app and getting people on site. So we ended up being first users and have that feedback from them and what technology can do for our Members. What is their interaction with us even if that means just looking at a ticket history to be able to engage with them? We are also making sure that anything we are putting in has an end to end process.”
 

Behaviors: For Successful Outcomes

  • Need to have a clear ‘End-Game’ defined;
  • Better up-front Business Analysis across the board;
  • Better top-down sponsorship/ownership for major projects;
  • Truly ‘Partner’ with a small number of ‘Platform’ providers (fewer yet broader);
  • Focus on the Member/Customer Experience (and NPS score);
  • Cherish your Data Model and Enterprise Architecture; and
  • Invest in some good IT/Tech people (Internal and/or External).

 

Closing Remarks

  • Reflect on your own true internal dynamics;
  • As an industry: Collaborate/share/learn more from each other;
  • A modest investment in SAAS platforms can go a long way;
  • Big ‘IT’ and PE Houses are waking up to the opportunity; and
  • We are all prototyping our own ‘Venue in a Box’ … Why?

 

Digital teeth

The Marylebone Cricket Club in June 2021 announced a new partnership with CGI, one of the largest independent information technology (IT) and business consulting services firms in the world, to be the official digital technology partner of the club.

The three-year agreement will bring the expertise and insight of CGI’s professional IT and business consulting services to MCC, which will greatly enhance the technologies, systems, processes, and data used by the club.
 

Sharing and caring

The Marylebone Cricket Club strongly believes in the concept of sharing and caring as well as learning from each other as she summed up by stating, “What counts most is what we can learn from each other and shed our silo mentality.”

The Marylebone Cricket Club put its members on a high pedestal and walks the extra mile to earn their loyalty and based on the feedback from their members they are trying to steer the club forward on its technical journey.

With a versatile Eve Crotty-Joyce in the thick of technical matters at MCC, the club will surely go a long way in the technical path.

Technology still remains a male-dominated field but Eve Crotty-Joyce’s initiative, vision, an ability to build high-performing teams, and with a focus on the art of sharing and caring, shows she is truly an effective technocrat. Way to go!

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