Worcestershire CCC have appointed Jon Graham as their first ever Managing Director to help deliver its vision of making the Club a sustainable business in its own right outside of cricket.
Lifelong supporter Graham has already made a sizeable impact during nearly four years as Business Development Director, Commercial Director and latterly as General Manager.
Graham developed created and launched the Worcestershire Rapids T20 brand in 2014. He and his Commercial Team won the best in class at business of cricket awards (BOCA) in the same year and has made significant changes in the day to day running of the business behind the scenes.
The County have made huge strides forward towards their goal of becoming a 365 days a year enterprise in that period.
Now Wordsley born Graham, aged 42, will be working in harness with new County CEO Tom Scott in striving "to take the Club to the next level."
And Graham believes he now has the ideal commercial and finance team in place at New Road to help achieve those objectives.
He said: "Personally the MD role gives me the mandate to deliver the vision that, not just Tom and I believe in, but everybody at the Club is striving for. I feel incredibly proud becoming MD of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, it is a massive responsibly and one that I relish.
"The support of my partner, my children and parents has been vital throughout my career and will continue to be so as we move this business forward.
"We are in a strong position to make some real change, some real positive strides and its exciting time ahead. "With Tom Scott (CEO), we are very lucky because he brings a wealth of experience as a successful businessman but similarly to myself he is a supporter of the Club and we are in safe hands as far as those decisions made at the top table.
"With the changes going on in cricket currently, it’s important that Tom is operating at a level where the future of the Club is being discussed. There are also some significant projects in the pipeline, most importantly finishing off the development of the ground. Tom’s expertise is going to be invaluable on these significant projects.
"As far as the MD role is concerned, it is about making sure the day to day running of the business is commercially robust. All infrastructure, all costs, all income streams, will be under constant scrutiny. The Club is in a solid position to move forward but it’s important that we repair the roof while the sun is shining."
Graham, who once had a trial as a 14-year-old pace bowler with the County, is crystal clear on the ultimate vision for Worcestershire CCC.
He said: "The vision is to make the Club a sustainable business in its own right outside of cricket.
"Cricket is something we are very fortunate to have here, something that we have got to protect, something we have got to invest in.
"But ultimately we've got to look at other ways of generating income for the business.
"We need to make sure we have a diverse offering and that with everything we do we must be passionate about setting very high standards and be proactive in dealing with our customers. "The ethos of the business from Tom, myself and every member of the team is consistent. We all want the best for the Club and without exception every decision we make is for the good of the Club, not individuals. Some of these decisions will not be easy but we will approach everything as a team pushing for the same objectives together.
"We need to be pro-active in the messages we send out about the Club because we have got some fantastic messages to get out there. We need to be bullish about what we are going to deliver going forward. Our outdoor events and conferencing business is going from strength to strength.
"It’s fair to say historically, we have not been effective enough about promoting our iconic brand and the value of it to our national and local suppliers. We are very lucky we've got fantastic sponsors that support the cricket side of the business but strong business is built on partnerships it is really important that we have got the right suppliers working for us and with us.
"I’m passionate about this Club and what it stands for, I respect the significance of the appointment and do not underestimate the task in hand or indeed the responsibility."
Worcestershire CEO Tom Scott said: “I am delighted for Jon. His appointment as Managing Director reflects the Clubs ambition to grow its commercial offering and ultimately develop the stand along New Road. This will create significant new income for the Club to help sustain its future and create further income for Cricket.
“We must ensure we have a team in place who can develop with the Club as it begins it’s journey over the next five years. All first class counties are aware of the need for commercial success to support Cricket which is why they are looking at every way possible to raise income.
"Let there be no doubt, our primary objective is to play great cricket and win trophies but we cannot ignore financial stability and progress.
“The County Ground New Road offers an iconic setting able to offer a combination of first class cricket and first class commercial opportunities. We would be failing our duty to WCCC if we do not explore and deliver on these.”