CricketPRO “a Digital City”

The Journey

Established in 2015, CricketPRO an Online Boutique Store based in Cape Town, South Africa. Also the creators of the first and only Players Rewards Program in the game of cricket. 

The Program was found and developed by Cape Town entrepeneur Steven Heuvel, a cricket specialist and digital marketer with over 15 years of Industry knowledge and a playing career spanning accross two decades. His notable achievements in the game are representing Western Province at youth levels & the South Africa u/19 Country Districts in 2002, after a National week batting average of 107.5 and a bowling average of 8.75. His senior career in the WPCA Premier Division saw him win the 1A & 1B League Titles, back-to-back Limited-Overs Titles and participation at National Club Champs 2010 with numerous personal accolades along the way like POTY, SOTY, MVP, Leading Wicket-Taker, Best Batsman and Best All-Rounder awards from the age of 13. 

In the Industry Steven is renowned as being the best cricket specialist in the country working with over 5000 players in his career. This is just an illustration of the reputation and trust he has earned with the South African cricket public. Before Heuvel became the so-called “maestro” he started out 3 years in a bat factory at one of SA’s leading local cricket brands. This is where he harness his skills and knowledge on cricket bats and softs. “I’m always intrigued by the depth of knowledge and passion Steven has for the game, I will chat to him all day about cricket” – Client Review

THE JOURNEY

In 2007, while working in the dust of a cricket bat factory Heuvel came up with an outragous idea of bringing cricket retail to social media on Facebook, not an idea supported by the owner at the time. It was a social platform and very new to South African’s and there were no sports teams and presence of brands on social media, it was not a trusted channel for business practice. Taking a leap of faith into uncharted territory linking business and social media, Steven went ahead in his own private time building a Facebook Group and began networking. After success with leads and conversions he got offered an admin position as Sales Manager and few years down the line a local brand became the leading brand in the country and expanding into the UK. The brand eventually surpassed all major competitors to become the choice brand in South African cricket. Steven’s time at the brand came to an end in 2015 and ventured off with the development of the CricketPRO Store and Member Rewards Program.

THE POWER OF NETWORKING & DIGITAL MARKETING

Heuvel the Founder of a charity organisation in Cape Town, Rise 2 The Challenge went on to compete against 150 contestants from various industries and cultures for the title of Mr. South Africa. Throughout the competition Heuvel ranked in the Top 3 and often Number 1 on the National voting pole due to his story and marketing ability. Networking online was one of Steven’s biggest strengths and although against tough competition in a foreign industry like Body Sculpting, Fashion and Pageantry Steven went all the way to The Top 12 Final Show to compete for the title at Gold Reef City aired on M-net and e-tv. Heuvel said, “This part of my life is evidence, that even when the odds are stacked against you, the power of digital marketing made my story reach many South Africans, although I still had to excel in my assignments. I was a total stranger to many of my voters an outsider in the competition with no previous background in fashion, pageants and modelling” 

CricketPRO “A DIGITAL CITY”

The year was 2015 just after the Cricket World Cup, the Proteas best chance of lifting the Cup but falling short to New Zealand in the semi-final. All over the media “The End of a Golden Era”. There was much talking and nothing being done, no one creating systems to improve our sport at grass roots. No one knowing what to do but continually addressing obvious problems in our sport. We lacked quality International players in our pipeline and the gap from Franchise to International cricket became bigger. What compounded this was the exit of many of our young talent to the UK, AUS and NZ along with political involvement enforcing stricter quota regulations on all Cricket Unions.

“I PUT MY HOUSE ON IT”- LATE NIGHTS, EARLY MORNINGS

“All for the love of the game” in his own words – “So during my private time outside of working hours I had the idea of building a computer program where I have access to players at all levels of the game. I decided to develop a system whereby players are monitored and equipped by me. Motivated to make a difference with no finance and investors, I eventually sold our home and funded the vision… Long story short.., just to see our country hold onto our home grown talent and see our Proteas at the top again. The idea of a “Digital City” came to mind, where a community of passionate players from around the country are gathered, a centre where they have access to cricket products by the click of a button, consultations, coaching, conditioning & exposure at a high level and a safe enviroment for cricketers of all ages, where they only exposed to the gentlemans game… A Cricket Network called CricketPRO, where you feel like a PRO everyday as a member. Although many players will never see me in person I will be there through this system making an impact and creating the opportunities as CricketPRO.” 

The Program is a global first and Heuvel has big plans of extending CricketPRO to other parts of the cricket world but first getting things perfected in the local cricket community. After the recent covid pandemic and social distancing the program has grown immensely due to the fact that the communication and mentorship was still there and players had a self-service experience to keep them going while cricket was not being played.

EXPOSING THE DIAMONDS IN SOUTH AFRICAN CRICKET

“South Africa is enriched with cricket talent an it’s important that we unearth these diamonds early at grass roots level with the right enviroments, exposure and opportunity to our private cricketing schools and academies. It’s important to keep our cricketers here in South Africa and make the game more interesting, enjoyable and fair. Cricket(Sport) is the game of the players and not the benefit of a hand full of administrators, without players there is no game so its important for us to preserve the integrity of the sport in our nation. Regardless of your culture or the colour of your skin this is sport and all needs a fair chance to enjoy and achieve in it.

Often times I wish this program was there in my playing days when I was dissapointed and felt the system has failed me but perhaps it was not meant to be.., because the game of cricket continued and waited for CricketPRO to come along just for you!!” – Steven Heuvel (Founder & Creator)

Contact

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+27 78 025 8285