With cricket currently being played behind closed doors, Kent Cricket’s principal partner Shepherd Neame has been working with the club on new initiatives to bring the sporting experience to life.
The Spitfire family of beers
The Faversham-based independent family brewer and pub company has been a long-time sponsor of Kent Cricket, with the club’s Canterbury headquarters, the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, named after Shepherd Neame’s most famous beer brand.
Although the club has been live streaming all non-Sky matches, supporters have been unable to fill the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, for Kent Spitfires’ Vitality Blast campaign, a series of 20-over matches.
Shepherd Neame and Kent Cricket have teamed up to celebrate the campaign with an exclusive competition, offering one lucky cricket fan the chance to win a personal chat with Kent Spitfires and England star Joe Denly.
The Kent Cricket vice-captain is the first man born in Canterbury to play Test cricket for England, and was named the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s most valuable player in the 2018 season, a year that saw his meteoric rise back into the England set-up ahead of The Ashes in 2019. Joe, a graduate of the Kent Cricket Academy, has played almost 400 matches for Kent in a career spanning three decades to date, and was part of the Kent Spitfires side that won the Twenty20 Cup in 2007.
To be in with a chance of winning this exclusive prize, fans simply have to go online at https://snea.me/JoeDenly and fill in their contact details. Entries must be received by 20th September.
Shepherd Neame is also inviting supporters to enjoy a Great British meal and Great British pint while cheering on the Kent Spitfires. For a limited period, a number of its pubs near The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, will be showing all the Kent Spitfires matches live, and offering a free pint of Spitfire Amber Ale or Spitfire Lager with any large fish and chips meal. Visit www.spitfireale.co.uk/kent-cricket-free-pint for information.
Joe Denly bats for Kent during Kent Spitfires v Sussex Sharks, Vitality Blast T20 Cricket, at The Spitfire Ground on 12th September
Supporters can also create The Spitfire Experience at home with Shepherd Neame’s limited edition Spitfire at Home Match Day Bundle. This includes a choice of five-litre mini-keg, two branded glasses, and a bar runner, along with a stress ball for those tense moments. The special pack is available, while stocks last, from Shepherd Neame’s online shop.
Throughout lockdown, the club, in conjunction with Shepherd Neame, hosted a series of weekly online interactive forums called The Spitfire Sessions, to engage with the wider community throughout a challenging time. The forums, which will return during winter, due to popular demand, involve past and present players and coaches and cover a range of subjects. Shepherd Neame has supported the events, promoting them on their social channels and providing a prize for the star question at each session.
Shepherd Neame’s head of marketing, brands, and communication, Joanna Richardson, said: “We are proud to be a long-term partner of Kent Cricket, and were keen to pivot our support and develop new ways to work with them during these challenging times.
“We hope that these initiatives will help raise awareness of the Kent Spitfires’ Vitality Blast campaign and encourage supporters to go online and watch live streaming of the matches and support their local team — hopefully while enjoying a Shepherd Neame beer!”
Kent Cricket’s marketing and communications manager, Becca Smith, added: “Our fantastic partnership with Shepherd Neame has allowed us to collaborate on a number of exciting and engaging initiatives, helping us to connect with the wider community.
“This ‘money can’t buy’ prize is an incredible opportunity for any cricket fan. We hope that our members and supporters continue to enjoy the digital, live stream coverage of our Vitality Blast matches, whilst supporting the Spitfires from home.”