Unless you’re a proud member of the beige brigade you may not have heard about the Kiwi cricketing app that's knocked the world for six.
CricHQ is forecast to overtake internet juggernaut TradeMe in terms of the number of online users at any one time – at its peak, as many as 40,000 people have been logged at once, it claims. Not bad for an app only fully completed in February. On the day CricHQ launched in Sri Lanka it even managed to crash Amazon due to the level of demand.
Chief executive Simon Baker credits the popularity of the app (available on both iOS and Android) to its transformation into a social media tool, where users provide the essential content for the app's success: hard data, news and analysis.
The original vision was a management tool for players and clubs. The business has pivoted slightly, however, and its tablet-based cricket scoring app has taken off via social media. It allows for live score streaming, player analysis, management and coaching. Teams and players can review their performances with run worms, graphs, instant calculations of key stats and visual representations.
Rather than selling the system to clubs they are now providing it free, focusing on corporate sponsorship and advertising revenue.
Baker, who founded the app with cricket legends Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum (other pro cricketers have invested in CricHQ too, including Graeme Swann, Scott Styris, and Albie Morkel), believes there is still huge growth potential for the app in North America and the Indian subcontinent.
The app is exceeding 100,000 hits per day on the Indian subcontinent, with even local school matches reaching 30,000 hits.
“This type of sporting technology should and can be brought to the masses. Cricket, globally, seemed to be lacking in tools to analyse and there’s a huge market for it in India – they’re a smartphone kind of country,” says Baker.
The app caters for all cricket fans from the IPL Superleague right down to the young, grassroots level and all in real time.
“The technology is just so easy to use, games can be easily tracked and viewed on your phone. If grandma can use Twitter and Skype, she can now see little Johnny’s after-school cricket game from her phone.”
CricHQ is a finalist in the 2012 Wellington Gold Awards and has enjoyed tremendous growth in the past two years, taking on 20 staff and opening US, UK, Toronto, Sri Lankan and Pakistan offices, with an Indian branch also on the cards.
It has an exclusive five-year commercial partnership with the International Cricket Council (ICC), which is endorsing CricHQ as its official source for online player profiling and scoring, and an exclusive license to build a Duckworth Lewis scoring engine to calculate match targets after interruptions.
A deal in the works could also see the CricHQ logo on products from Australian sportsgear manufacturer Kookaburra going forward.
(Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated an average of 40,000 users simultaneously logged in, and a partnership with Kookaburra as finalised.)
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