Cricketer Kevin Pietersen’s popularity rises as interest in England cricket team drops

Delhi Daredevil’s captain is a more popular personality amongst UK public as the Indian Premier League campaign begins

London/ Delhi, 16/04/14 – The ex-England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has become a more popular and more marketable sportsman, Repucom, a global leader in sports marketing research, finds as he kicks off the Delhi Daredevil’s 2014 Indian Premier League (IPL) season on Thursday 17th April, 2014.

Indeed, over the course of the year, which included Pietersen’s high profile dismissal by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), of those that know of the cricketer, more people in the UK think that he has an influence over their brand considerations and purchasing intent. Indeed, more people now even say they ‘like’ the batsmen.
Sacked by the ECB in February 2014, Pietersen has once again found himself in the media spotlight. Although no stranger to attention, what is interesting is the degree to which people’s perceptions of the cricketer in the UK have increased.

Ahead of the Ashes Test in England in August 2013, 55.7 percent of people in the UK knew of Kevin Pietersen, today the figure is almost 60 percent. Of the percentage of people that know of Pietersen, the number of people that take note of him when he appears in the media has also increased, rising just over four percentage points, up from 46.8 percent to 50.9 percent.
In comparison, the same cannot be said for current England captain Alistair Cook whose scores paint a very different picture and illustrate the growing difference in opinion between England’s previous and current big name players. During the same period, the percentage of people who say they like Cook has dropped by 13.4 percentage points. People’s level of trust of Cook has also taken a hit, falling almost ten percentage points.

Charlie Dundas, Head of Strategic Product Innovation, Repucom UK said: “It is very interesting to see the UK public support for Pietersen grow after what has been a roller-coaster of a 12 months for the player, culminating in his sacking by the ECB in February.

“For a long time, his ‘bad-boy of cricket’ image has played in stark contrast to the majority of the national England cricket team, there was no doubting that he stood out from the crowd. There was also no doubting that Pietersen was a fan’s favourite and these results show that not only is he still the most marketable English cricketer, but people’s perceptions of him are growing.
“This has certainly not been the best few months for the England team. The disappointment of losing 5-0 to Australia in the Ashes this winter was compounded by poor performances and an early exit at the ICC World Trophy. We’ve seen interest in the England team drop as a result.

“Opinion of the England captain Alistair Cook has actually fallen during this period which makes Pietersen’s rise even more significant as it bucks this trend we’re seeing for people associated to the England set up.

“People now see Pietersen as a more influential person and a better endorser of products. Indeed, more people now like the player. Of all the eight metrics on which we assess a player’s marketability, seven are higher than they were before his sacking from the national team. Having signed to play for St Lucia in Caribbean Premier League and as current captain of the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League, Pietersen’s marketing potential spreads wider than just the UK.

“As valuable endorsers to brands and rights holders worldwide, these changes in the public perception are key for sponsors determining where next best to invest their marketing and sponsorship budgets.”

Since England’ Ashes victory in August 2013 in the UK, interest in cricket and the England national cricket team has dropped by four percentage points. Interest in the team fell two percentage points between January and March in 2014, during which period Keven Pietersen was sacked by the ECB.

Levels of interest for cricket and the England Cricket Team of people in the UK




Download the press release in pdf-format here: Cricket Repucom