This week in our Return to Live series, we wanted to take a deeper dive into the ‘waive or donate’ refund feature in use at Sussex CCC.
We took the time to speak with Mark Judges, Commercial Director of Sussex CCC about the impact of COVID-19 and how they recently utilised this function to generate funds for their nominated foundation.
Following cancellations in your season, what was the motivation for waiving funds to a nominated foundation?
Like all sports clubs, the financial impact of COVID-19 will be significant in how we run our business and invest in areas of importance to us and our very loyal, community driven fan base. Many of our supporters recognised this and approached us asking if there was a way to help support the club financially.
These requests drove our strategy to deliver such a mechanism with the help of Ticketmaster, ensuring all supporters had the option to waive their right to a refund and allow the club to retain the income, donate their refund to a nominate Foundation or accept the refund they are of course entitled too. This gave our fans a number of refund choice options, made them feel listened to and allowed them to support us if they were that way inclined, which we are absolutely delighted to say, many of them were.
What was the nominated foundation you are transferring funds to? And what made you choose it?
All supporters who decided to donate their refund did so to the, Together Through this Test fund, a fund currently held by Sussex Cricket Foundation. The fund will then be used to support the county of Sussex through the delivery of grants to local charities and causes impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and nominated by the people of Sussex. We are very proud to be supporting this cause and giving back to the people that matter most to us and our fans.
What process did you go through to set up the refund waiver?
We worked with Ticketmaster Sport to use the self-service refund solution within the platform whereby supporters could manage their own donations, ensuring each supporter could make an informed decision based on their financial and personal situation without the need to contact the club.
This was particularly important as the majority of staff at Sussex Cricket are furloughed and the ticket office closed to the public, therefore we were unable to provide a club to customer managed solution.
Overall how was your experience of using the refund waiver solution?
The process is still on-going but we are seeing extremely encouraging results and our fans have been very happy with the options given to them. The club will benefit hugely from having the access and ability to use this feature vs purely offering one single cash out refund route.
We are very grateful for all the support from Ticketmaster Sport through developing new innovative features to help us and other sports teams navigate these challenging times in the best possible way as we all wait for the return of our fans to stadiums and live sport.