The Croquet Association and Sponsorship
The Croquet Association is a non-profit making organisation, and all the money we raise is ploughed back into improving the game of croquet. We are keen to attract sponsorship to our competitions, and believe we have much to offer in return. We work with potential sponsors to ensure both parties get the most out of any relationship.
We offer opportunities to:
- Associate your product/service with a quintessential English sport projecting tranquillity and sportsmanship.
- Reach our membership (an affluent potential market) and the wider croquet community, through advertising in The Croquet Gazette and at our premier events. Our membership profile is described further below.
- Provide corporate entertainment in some wonderful sporting locations
- Allow you and your guests to have a go at the game with some informal coaching at a selected time during an event.
To discuss sponsorship opportunities further, please contact us.
The Croquet World
It has been estimated that in the UK over half-million people play croquet in their back gardens at hotels or clubs. There are about 170 clubs in the UK which attract the more serious players. Current club membership amounts to around 4,500 many of whom are avid tournament players travelling across the UK and in some cases overseas. Historically, the main croquet-playing nations have been the 'home' countries of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and the 'Old Commonwealth' countries: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada. However, the USA is now a strong croquet-playing nation and in recent years the sport has been spreading into mainland Europe (notably France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, and Belgium). Egypt leads the world in Golf croquet.
English croquet is generally regarded as leading the world - not only in terms of having many of the strongest players, but also in the way it is organised, promoted and coached.
It is a very sociable game, in which honesty and integrity are valued above all else. For instance, there is no referee or umpire permanently in charge of a match: players are their own referees. When they commit a fault they tell their opponent and end their turn.
Croquet clubs organise mix-ins, internal tournaments and matches against other clubs. Just as in golf there is a well-developed handicap system, where beginners have a handicap of 24 and as they improve they drop towards scratch. So, players at different levels can compete effectively against each other.
Tournaments, organised by the Croquet Association (CA) and open to all its members, take place from Easter to October. The majority are small affairs, typically over a weekend and involving between 16 and 24 players. There could be up to six or eight of these taking place somewhere in the country at any one time. During the summer months the larger clubs hold week-long tournaments, which comprise several events, level, handicap and doubles.
Then, in a normal year, the CA's championship programme is the highlight for this country's top players, often joined by players from abroad:
The MacRobertson Shield
7-11th Aug, Bury/Bowdon
12-16th Aug, Nottingham/Roehampton
18-22nd Aug, Surbiton
|International test match series, played between Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.|
The Open Championship
|This is the annual premier event in English croquet. It normally attracts a number of overseas players.|
The Men's and Women's Championships
|High level events involving most of the leading players|
The regional championships
|An ideal opportunity for regional companies to sponsor local prestigious events|
The Inter-County Championship
The numerically largest croquet tournament in the world and with its own unique atmosphere.
The Seniors' and Veterans' Championships
|Two opportunities for potential sponsors who address the affluent older population.|
The Golf Croquet Open Championship
|The premier event in the calendar of the 'Golf Croquet' variant. Play will to be fast and furious - perhaps less cerebral but great fun.|
The Inter-County Championship
Recent sponsors have included:
- Mitsubishi Motors
- Simon Carter Menswear Designer
- Holiday Property Bond
- Bellingham Wines
- MGM Assurance
- Lincoln Unit Trust Managers
In 2007 the CA commissioned a survey of croquet players in order to support its promotional and sponsorship activities. Below is a short extract from the published findings - which, for reasons which will become clear, carried the title 'Healthy, Wealthy and Wise'.
- Two thirds of croquet players are male, with an age distribution as shown in the chart. With over 60% aged above 60 this confirms that croquet is suitable for more active OAPs.
- 57% of respondents are graduates.
- 62% of all croquet players are retired. 43% are, or were, qualified professionals and 24% in management.
- Croquet players are affluent, with well above average incomes and net worth.
- The most read newspapers were the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and Times.
- With computer ownership and email usage at over 80%, croquet players were well above the national averages.
- 57% of croquet players believe they are more healthy and fit relative to others of the same age, and 54% think that croquet contributes to this. Similarly, 74% believe their mental agility is above the norm and 63% are confident that croquet helps.
- 82% of croquet players enjoy a nice bottle of wine!
All survey reports may be found on the site.