A little over four years ago Stuart and I were presented with a proposal to sponsor the Brisbane Heat team in the soon to commence Women’s Big Bash League. The men’s Twenty20 format had been a resounding success, but there were few precedents around what the consumer appeal of a women’s version would be.
We were in a somewhat fortunate position, because our decision to sign on as one of the inaugural sponsors wasn’t driven by the need to to achieve certain viewer or attendance numbers, or to drive new customer acquisition. Instead the appeal for us was the opportunity to highlight our belief in the importance of women getting the opportunity to play sport at elite levels in the same way as their male counterparts did, and in an environment that provided for mainstream attention and focus.
The viewing and attendance figures in that first season and the three subsequent ones, showed that there were plenty of people who did want to see women play elite cricket, but the most rewarding aspect of our involvement with the Heat WBBL team over the past four seasons has been the opportunity to get to know the remarkable women who make up the team.
The vast majority of them juggle a variety of other roles and commitments in addition to their role as professional sportswomen, all the while managing to represent themselves and their game with the utmost professionalism at all times.
In a season when the men’s BBL has been struggling to match past attendance numbers, and the close and exciting finishes that the format has built its reputation on have been few and far between, the women’s game has continued to deliver and never more so that at the pointy end of the season.
The two semi final games were both absolute edge of the seat thrillers, with the results going down to the wire and the girls giving it everything they’d got, setting up for a sold out final in Sydney. This tweet drawing inspiration from the recent ‘10 year challenge’ that has gone viral on social media highlight just what a difference 10 years can make in womens sport’s ability to attract a crowd.
Again the women from both teams delivered a cracking match, with Beth Mooney’s stellar performance, despite her severe heat exhaustion, being the very epitome of digging deep and delivering for your team when you’re most needed.
Needless to say we were beyond thrilled to see the Heat win their first ever WBBL trophy. It truly is a fitting reward for the hard work, dedication and effort that we have seen the girls put in, and it’s been an honour and a privilege for Epic Pharmacy to have been able to partner with them. Enjoy your well earned glory girls and bring on WBBL05!