Thursday, 8 May 2014

"What do you do in the 'off-season'?"

by Michelle Cooling

With another season finishing at the end of March, I finally have an off-season after 3 seasons in a row, two in Australia and one in England. Safe to say I was absolutely exhausted after a non-stop 18 months but over the three seasons some amazing moments both in Australia and in England.

A few snaps from the Ricky Ponting Medal
My numbers after back-to-back-to-back seasons! 101 matches,  Ashes, T20 Internationals, ODI, Shield Final, County Championships Final and Big Bash Final. Numerous tweets, match reports, Facebook and Insta posts!

Now comes the age old question, a question that gets asked of those who work in sport and a question I find quite amusing especially with the digital media world the way it is.

If I had a $1 for everytime I was asked "What do you do in the off-season?", I would be quite well off! It's also probably because I was in England last season and didn't have an off-season so people wonder what I will get up to, however I have actually been asked whether I keep my job in the winter...yes I do!

So for those wondering what us digital media, marketing and PR workers do in the off-season, the answer is simple: we basically do what we do in season it just isn't as full on!

We have websites and social media sites that need to keep running, we are essentially a news room so can't just go into hiding for 5 months.  Our players may not be in front of us playing but they are abroad or about to start pre-season again and there are always stories to share, it is just a matter of having to dig a bit deeper to find them which is ok because in the winter you actually have time to, well, breathe!

It is amazing how quickly the 'off-season' is actually going, we are already into May, it will be September again soon and we will be worrying about the Hurricanes in the Champions League, the Tigers starting their Sheffield Shield and Ryobi Cup campaigns and the nation hosting a World Cup.... all in a newly redeveloped Blundstone Arena.

There is also a lot of planning that goes on in the off-season, just like on the field, the off the field work can't just happen if you don't have plans in place.  Our off-season this year is particularly big as the Hurricanes qualified for the Champions League after making the Big Bash Final this year so our Operations guys have a fair bit on their plate.  The tournament dates and location are still yet to be confirmed but it looking likely it is September and likely it will be held in India.  As we get closer to this, those of us in the marketing and media department will also have a higher demand to make sure we get maximum reach out of this exposure opportunity.

The busiest time of the off-season is the KFC T20 Big Bash League player signings windows as each team looks to find ways to announce their new signings or those players who have re-signed. As I was away for this last season, I am looking forward to this time of the year again as it gets fans in the cricket mindset in the middle of winter and is always exciting to see the team come together alongside all the other Big Bash sides.

As I mentioned earlier, next summer is going to be even crazier with Australia and NZ hosting the Cricket World Cup. We are hosting 3 matches in Hobart including an Australian pool match alongside hosting nations Sri Lanka, Scotland, Ireland and Zimbabwe.  Our ground at the moment is currently a construction site with the new western stand facility set to be complete around October/November. It is going to be amazing once it is complete with the new stand, corporate and media facilities, underground indoor training centre and changerooms all part of the redevelopment at Blundstone Arena. In the next week or so I am going to take a go-pro and some cameras into the site- so keep an eye out on social media for that video! So with the World Cup around the corner, getting public awareness around this event is another task for the off-season.

The Cricket World Cup comes to Australia and NZ next season which will mean an even busier 2014-15 summer!
Blundstone Arena- a construction site at the moment but it is exciting what this will look like in coming months!

So as you can see there is still plenty to be done in the "off-season" however being a bit quieter and not having work every week-end is also quite a nice thing and leaves time for other parts of my life, (mainly hockey!) to take place. As well as hockey I am also studying fitness, my Certificate 3 and 4, so putting aside a day a week (and my lunch times because getting a proper lunch break in the off season is also very handy!) to go back into study mode, which is quite strange after 4 years in the working world. I can't see myself changing careers anytime soon, but love my fitness and want to assist others with my passion for this so can pursue this outside of my normal work hours.

On a final note, I hope everyone is enjoying football season (#gocats) and I hope to have some of the girls who work in AFL feature on the blog in coming weeks!

No comments:

Post a Comment