We caught up with Jemima Bird, CEO and Founder of Hello Finch, and a member of the BatFast board. Jemima is a massive sports enthusiast – particularly cricket, and enjoys her runs. Read on for some fantastic insights into Jemima’s professional life and her predictions for the future of BatFast and beyond.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I’m an accidental marketer! I started life in grocery retail, working in operations. Soon, I found myself in a marketing role purely by chance – I’d been asked to step in and turn around a finance project which I quickly established was a marketing project as it was all about branding! I loved it so much, I did my MBA on the project and have stayed in this space ever since. About 10 years ago I set up my own consultancy specifically focused on early-stage businesses and bringing exceptional independent agency talent to help grow brands quickly.
How did you become a part of the BatFast project?
My husband Steve was contacted by Runish right back when the first stage of investment finance was being raised at BatFast. The team was looking for help with their brand and marketing and so Steve introduced me. I absolutely loved the concept, the business and the team, so I was thrilled to be able to help.
What is it about BatFast that makes you passionate about the company and its mission?
Everyone believes in what I see as the heartbeat of the company – to get more people to experience the thrill of hitting a ball! By providing an exciting product and experience, we’ve grown a world-class entertainment product. Competitive socializing is on a hugely positive trend and BatFast can be at the heart of this it’s growth. The benefits of getting more people to participate and enjoy games like cricket, tennis, and baseball are all upside.
What do you think BatFast’s role in the UK market would be, in the next 2 years?
The deal with Sixes is the start of the journey. The competitive socializing market is massive – younger audiences, be it millennials, Gen X, Gen Z, etc want more than just a pint in a pub; they want experiences on their night out. BatFast is primed to be part of the tech that enables these experiences.
What about emerging markets?
Sixes is just the start! The competitive socializing trend is global, and the emerging markets are no different – I see a partner likes Sixes coming on stream pretty quickly into 2022.
How about mature international markets?
Similar to the UK and other emerging markets – the competitive socializing trend will accelerate and I expect international partners to come in from both emerging and mature markets. The multi-sport offering makes the richness of the BatFast offer even more appealing as the world reopens.
Talk us through any BatFast project that you are proudest to work on?
I’m proud of the initial branding we did for BatFast and most recently the reinvigoration to bring our multi-sport offer to life across our brand and channels. On a personal level, the deal I brought on stream with NatWest, making BatFast the face of Natwest cricket for the 2019 Cricket World Cup and the 2019 Ashes, I think supercharged awareness in the brand.
What is it about BatFast that sets it apart from its probable competitors?
Our multi-sport offering is unique as is the fact that we have such an amazing in-house tech and R&D team. The data that we are capturing is astonishing and once we start to realise this the potential is unlimited.
As a member of the BatFast Tribe yourself, tell us about your first experience on the machine?
I think I missed the ball on my first game at BatFast! However, on my last outing, I certainly knocked a few balls out of the park!!
Where do you see BatFast in 5 years’ time?
The team has done a great job on a very low budget – to grow social media channels to the extent we have and to see the level of engagement with followers is as good as anything out there. What we need to do is convert this engagement into visits to our locations around the UK!
What are the verticals that you see BatFast making the largest impact in and why? Could you give us some industry insights as to why?
The competitive socializing space is I believe a growing trend and the BatFast tech is perfectly placed to support this. We have a multi-sport offering meaning we’re both versatile and exciting to people with different interests!
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BatFast. You’re In Next. For The Thrill Of The Hit.