Marden Cricket Club
Marden CC is a village cricket club in the Weald of Kent. For 2016 we decided it was time to source new match kit having previously purchased shirts from a variety of suppliers with mixed success. We have ended up with either the Club holding unsold stock (which resulted in a financial loss) very average shirts and printing or players unhappy with the sizing, quality or both where we had pre-ordered shirts and in some cases wanting their money back! I came to the conclusion it was impossible to please everyone.
The Treasurer insisted we were no longer prepared to buy and hold stock so I had to find a way to source someone who would sell us kit to order or get everyone to pay up front involving hours of additional work for me. I spent ages online researching cricket kit suppliers and sent out over 15 enquiries. I looked at reviews, corresponded by email and spoke on the phone to numerous companies both in the UK and abroad, at which point I spoke with Pete Brailey at Serious Cricket. It was immediately apparent I was dealing with cricketers and sportsmen who understood the issues. Determined to get it right I decided to visit the factory in Hampshire and see the operation for myself. One of the best non-cricketing cricket decisions I have ever made!
I was greeted and treated as if I was their only customer, (We are it transpires one of over 600 Clubs signed up to date) I found high quality kit made in the UK, superb printing and embroidery, a workforce that was a real team and took pride in their product, a huge range of cricket attire in every size from the smallest Under 9’s to some seriously big units; a company who were prepared to take a photo of an old Club shirt and my low res pdf and completely revamp the Club badge and potential sponsors logo, to send me away with samples to show the committee, mock up images to show our sponsor how it would look and were willing to build us an online shop without any commitment yet from us– yes, Marden CC could have their own online shop??
Ever the cynic I checked everything; even placing test orders with other ‘Club shops’ already with Serious Cricket to see how user friendly the system was. I phoned another local skipper who had also signed with Serious Cricket. Was it too good to be true? In the end having found no flaws Marden CC signed up to a 3 year deal with Serious Cricket in April 2016.
Having done my bit I waited and watched. The first shirts ordered were being delivered in a week (not just that but it was THE week before the season starts when everyone wants a new shirt!) it gets better, I received phone calls from some pretty demanding members thrilled with their purchases. Within 2 weeks over half of our 80 youth cricketers had ordered and received their shirts. I watched as every player saw the new shirts and wanted one. I was amazed to see players in Club hoodies, polo shirts, choices of baggy or baseball playing caps, the list is huge and I had admin access to watch the orders grow.
Would we make the same choice again? – Absolutely!
Would I recommend Serious Cricket to other cricket Clubs? Yes!
We were never under any pressure to sign-up. It always felt Serious Cricket were relaxed and trusted their ethos and products to do the persuading.
The setting up of a Club shop did not cost Marden CC a single penny. Serious Cricket basically did everything needed to get our shop, our badge and our kit right. We even have the ‘Club Shop’ embedded on our ‘playcricket’ website.
There is no risk to the Club – our members order and pay direct – we hold no stock. If the size is wrong the individual sends it back and gets another one.
Players can personalise their kit with names, initials and even numbers if they choose. The kids always leave their caps lying around - I told all the parents to get their initials printed on them so now they get them back too!
The club badge looks amazing on the shirts.
Our Club sponsors are happy, their logo looks fabulous and the printing is immaculate.
Best of all - The kit is superb, there is a huge range and we decide what we sell, it arrives quickly, it looks good, it feels great to play in and it washes up superbly.
Perhaps it really is possible to please everyone after all!
Marden Cricket Club