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Howzat! Life beyond the boundary

Lodders became a commercial partner of the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) in early 2020. In this article – first published in Issue 7 of our magazine Lodders Life – Richard Morris, Commercial Operations Lead at the PCA, explains how the PCA supports its members and highlights the Commercial Operations importance of commercial partners in supporting the PCA’s important initiatives.

Formed in 1967, the two main strands of the PCA’s work are to offer clear and comprehensive contractual advice, and to deliver an industry-leading Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP) to its 3,500 current members.

On top of providing services including mental health support, one of the key aims of the PDWP is to help players to better prepare for life after cricket, since the average career in the professional game comes to an end at the age of just 26.

To facilitate this, the PCA provides career workshops to its members, as well as education funding to encourage players to broaden their horizons and consider life after the game.

The PCA is reliant on its loyal commercial partners like Lodders to continue providing such services to players. A partnership with the PCA is mutually beneficial, however, as partners are able to activate a range of rights including marketing, events, and hospitality, and access to our diverse and talented membership, many of whom move into second careers in areas such as law.

Rookie Camp

The PCA is committed to protecting the interests of younger players, and runs an annual Rookie Camp to induct newcomers into the professional game.

Taking place every February, Rookie Camp brings together players who have recently signed their first professional contracts, for a day of seminars and workshops to help them better understand what it means to be a professional cricketer.

Topics covered at the most recent Rookie Camp included anti-corruption, legal support, social media, and gambling addictions, and attendants were also treated to exclusive Q&As with England stars including Rob Key, Tim Bresnan, and Anya Shrubsole.

Though Rookie Camp took place via Zoom in 2021, the PCA hopes to return to Edgbaston Stadium to continue providing education for emerging professionals in 2022 and beyond.

New female members

All professional cricketers in England and Wales are supported by the PCA, whether male or female.

From 2020 that contingent has expanded to include 41 new female professionals, after the PCA and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) struck an historic agreement to create eight new professional sides based around the country, with each side containing either five or six full-time players.

In December 2020, the new cohort was inducted into the PCA via video link, with the 41 new members also attending Rookie Camp in February 2021 to learn about life in the professional game.

The new members join the existing female PCA membership, which includes every centrally contracted England Women player. In response to the number of female PCA members almost quadrupling, the PCA Players’ Committee ratified the creation of a new Women’s Player Committee in early 2021. The new body consists of seven female professionals, and will have exclusive voting rights on specific women’s-only issues within the game.

Why did Lodders chose to support the PCA?

Hilary Campton, Lodders’ marketing director, explains: “Lodders became a commercial partner of the PCA in early 2020. Cricket hospitality has always been an important part of our event marketing mix and a PCA partnership undeniably helps us to secure some of the best seats in the house.

“We were keen however to explore a partnership that went beyond event hospitality, and to provide support for the PCA’s impressive work in providing support to both current and past players. In particular, we are really excited about the opportunities to work with the PCA to provide practical support to former players who are looking to build new careers – perhaps even at Lodders!”

Get in touch

To learn more about the benefits of a partnership with the PCA, contact Richard Morris at richard.morris@thepca.co.uk

Read this and more great stories in the latest issue of Lodders Life.

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Diane Wood, V Formation on 07887 794507 or by email