CommBank simultaneously leveraged its partnership with Cricket Australia and raised funds for victims of Australia’s tragic bushfires through its national ‘Baggy Green Tour’ which took Shane Warne’s auctioned cricket cap around the country to raise further recovery funds before donating it permanently to the Bradman Museum.
Agency: M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment
CommBank has been a partner of Cricket Australia (CA) for the last 30 years and for the last 21 years has focused on backing women’s and grassroots cricket as well as the men’s elite game through initiatives such as ‘Growing Cricket For Girls’, the indigenous ‘Imparja Cup’ tournament and CA’s ‘Sport For All’ programme.
When one of Australia’s all-time greatest cricketers, Shane Warne, auctioned his iconic Baggy Green (the famous dark myrtle green cricket cap awarded to mark a player’s first appearance for Australia since the turn of the twentieth century) to raise funds for victims of the 2020 Australian bushfires, Cricket Australia partner CommBank purchased it for $1m.
CommBank bought Warne’s baggy green through auction – after the bank felt motivated and humbled by the generosity and bravery of its staff and customers as they worked together to face the devastating fires – with all money raised going to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
After all, CommBank believes that ‘the Baggy Green is a national symbol for mateship, resilience and the Aussie can-do spirit’ and wanted to promote and support these national values.
Other than the simple acts of a one-off auction purchase, CommBank briefed agency M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment to leverage the cap and its Cricket Australia rights across the country before the bank donated it to the Bradman Museum in Bowral (New South Wales) as a permanent exhibit.
So the agency and bank marketing team created the six-week ‘Baggy Green Tour’: a nationwide tour which took the cap right around Australia visiting local cricket clubs, schools, community centres and Commonwealth bank branches in more than 20 regional towns spanning more than 30 location stops.
From its launched event in Sydney’s Martin Place, through Bateman’s Bay (in New South Wales), to Mount Barker (in South Australia) and Gippsland (in Victoria), wherever the cap tour stopped, cricket fans across the country were given an opportunity to have their picture taken with the cap in return for a small donation to the bushfire disaster relief fund.
The tour saw every stop amplified through film and image content posted across the brand’s digital and social channels and to drive PR coverage the local media were providing with CommBank spokespeople and local bushfire and cricket themed content. Plus, broadcast outlets were provided with B-Roll footage shot in specific locations to maximise media coverage in all locations.
Earlier this year, our Baggy Green tour travelled to 21 different locations raising money for bush fire affected communities.
Today Shane Warne’s Baggy Green finds a permanent home within the new Baggy Green Exhibition at the Bradman Museum. pic.twitter.com/rt3nEoPofD
— CommBank (@CommBank) August 27, 2020
Every dollar donated during the tour went towards the Commonwealth Bank Bushfire Appeal in the form of recovery grants totalling more than AUS€20m to further support Australian Red Cross’ disaster relief program and recovery efforts with a focus on rebuilding local facilities.
“After securing Shane’s cherished baggy green, raising more than $1 million for bushfire relief, we wanted to ensure his iconic cap could raise even more funds at the same time as allowing cricket fans across the country to enjoy it, before it finds a permanent home at the Bradman Museum,” explained CommBank CEO Matt Comyn. “Over coming months, we will be taking the cap to over 30 locations where the goal is not only to raise money but also to lift spirits and support local communities hit hardest by the recent and catastrophic fires.”
At the end of the tour in April 2020, CommBank handed over the cap to be a permanent exhibit at the Bradman Museum at a brand-hosted handover event held on Sir Donald Bradman’s birthday (27 August).
CommBank also worked with the museum on the design of exhibit based around an entire wall dedicated to the cap and to CommBank.
As well as directly donating AUS$1m at the cap auction a further AUS€20m was raised through the initiative for victims of the 2020 bushfires.
The tour initiative generated more than 450 individual pieces of earned media coverage.
While the cap itself will be seen by the museum’s annual 30,000 visitors for the next ten years.