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The making of the #SussexFamily


As its official marketing partner, Pleece & Co constantly works with Sussex Cricket to look for ways to innovate and bring new audiences and people into the Club. Indeed, one of Sussex Cricket's key aims is to help the game to appeal to a wider audience.

Working closely with Tom Rose, Sussex Cricket marketing manager, and the team at Sussex this season, we devised a new campaign to promote the 2016 NatWest T20 Blast campaign. After last season’s BOCA award winning campaign, Believe in the Dream, we wanted to look at another angle and create something that chimed with the ECB’s desire to attract more families into watching NatWest T20 Blast.

Fusing together the idea of traditional family days out with the cricket family, we came up with a campaign we called the #SussexFamily. The video, the focal piece of the campaign, features a young granddaughter and her grandfather as they make their way to the beating heart of Hove for a T20 Blast game from different corners of the county.

By casting these characters as the heroes of the piece, we wanted to challenge the perception of whom T20 Blast is aimed at. It’s not just a boozy sing-a-long on a Friday night, it’s also a fun and almost magical event for all the family under the lights. Many families come to the match together to enjoy the unique atmosphere and high-octane excitement that T20 Blast offers and, by showing different generations of Sharks’ fans on their journey to the ground, we wanted to appeal to young and old - and everyone related in-between. A big "thank you" to Sally and everyone from Drama Queens for supplying such a fine leading actor and the people for the rent-a-crowd.

The term ‘Sussex Family’ has echoed around the pavilion at Sussex for eons, as well as informing the values that have guided the team successfully for many years, so our goal was also to imbue the phrase with deeper meaning and to provide a narrative for the club to take ‘ownership’ of for this campaign - and beyond.

We’re already thinking ahead to next year’s campaign, so if you have any ideas or would like to be involved in the production, feel free to throw them into the mix by emailing #SussexFamily

Gary Pleece, Pleece & Co

Sussex and Pakistan


They may not have been as great in number as Australians or Indians, but three of Pakistan players who have represented Sussex certainly make up for it in terms of talent.

Mushtaq Ahmed, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad would all be contenders for an all-time XI of Pakistan players.

To the current generation of Sussex fans, Mushtaq’s legendary status is assured. Between 2003 and 2008 the mercurial leg-spinner took more than a hundred Championship wickets in three seasons and was the driving force behind an unprecedented era of success for the county, including three titles in 2003, 2006 and 2007.

Imran and Javed belonged to a different era, long before the arrival of coloured clothing and Twenty20, but they brought the game to life during the 1970s and early 1980s, an era of often dull cricket.

Imran came to Sussex in 1977 after abruptly leaving Worcestershire. Life by the sea, and Brighton’s proximity to London, suited him, as did the quick Hove wickets at that time. He became a dashing middle-order batsmen and it was while working with another great Sussex fast bowler, John Snow, at Sussex that he developed a deadly out-swinger.

The sight of him and Garth Le Roux sharing the new ball at Hove was enough to fill county batsmen with dread but Imran didn’t always have that competitive edge. His team-mates got used to the sight of him arriving for a Sunday League game with moments to spare, complaining of heavy traffic on the A23. Imran, who made his Test debut at 18, loved the big stage. Humdrum county matches often left him feeling uninspired.

He had replaced Javed as Pakistan captain in 1982 and by then Miandad was playing county cricket for Glamorgan, having served Sussex between 1976-79 as a fine attacking batsman. They never played together for the county, although it might have been interesting if they had.

Imran, from Lahore, was proud and aggressive - his critics might even add arrogant or aloof. Javed, from Pakistan's other great cricket city Karachi, was by contrast, crafty and willing to get under the skin of an opponent to gain an advantage.

But they had little else in common, apart from a mutual respect for their ability as players. Between them they captained Pakistan in 82 Tests and 200 one-day internationals.

Pakistan return to Hove for the first time since 1987 this July.

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