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6th November 2009

A day with Durham CCC’s Promotions Manager

There are 474 agents who collect money from people who play the Durham lottery, agents can have as few or as many members as they like, and are usually newsagents or post offices.  In addition to 120 pubs in the region, these agents also stock the club’s scratch cards, which offer cash and toys as prizes.

Julie definitely has the earliest start out of the staff but starts off her week with a leisurely 9.00am start on Monday’s and Tuesday’s!  Read on as she gives us the run down on an average week.

“I spend the early part of the week with my sales executive, Mary Simpson, looking for new business.  We tend to pick a different area each week to focus on and then spend two days there targeting a large town and then all the surrounding villages.  Mary specialises in the North of the region, having worked that area as a rep for a number of years and the South of the region is my stomping ground so between us we know the region pretty much inside out!

“We generally spend until lunch time visiting newsagents to see if we can get them to become an agent, which involves them recruiting members to join the lottery.  We also target areas where can distribute leaflets which promote the lottery and advertises for collectors who could act as individual agents.  

“We concentrate on finding new pubs to stock the scratch cards between 12 noon and 3.00pm – people can win prizes from £1 to £100 or a cuddly toy.  One of Mary’s tasks is to source new high quality toys every few months so we have different stock.  Last year people could win one of the seven dwarves and you wouldn’t believe how popular they were – sales of scratch cards actually increased quite a bit because people wanted the whole set!

“The lottery runs from Berwick all the way down to North Yorkshire so the potential for new agents and pubs is pretty high.  Obviously there are challenges, if a shop is sold then often we need to convince new owners to keep us in their shop –happily, it does sometimes work the other way, where new people take over shops where we’ve never had a presence and we get the opportunity to promote the lottery there.  Generally there is a lot of support for the club throughout the region and the agents are really proud to have an element of involvement with our success.

“For the remainder of the week I make sure I’m up to date with all my paperwork.  As I travel to work from Middlesbrough I do some of the calls from that area on my way to work so I tend to be at the first newsagent by about 6.00am.  The agents collect the money from the members for their entry into each week’s draw and then we pick it up on our rounds.

“Once I’ve done a few calls I make my way to the office and as I’m usually the first one in I make sure the heating is on before everyone else arrives!  I have to enter all the receipts from everyone who needs to be entered into that week’s prize draw and providing our collectors hand in all their paperwork on time I’m finished by mid afternoon and I can put the wheels in motion for the draw to take place.  It’s all automated so we know the winners after the touch of the button, then I have to get to work signing all the cheques!

“I put together the results sheets, which are personalised to each agent, for our collectors to pick up  and distribute to the outlets, as well as emailing the results to the local press and to our marketing team who upload the results on to the website.

“I enjoy going to other clubs that run lotteries to see if we can learn anything from them and also meeting other promotions managers at the annual Gambling Commission conference.  I’m also responsible for making sure the club adheres to the latest gambling legislation, which is provided to us by the Lotteries Council.   Any proceeds from Howzat are donated to the Durham Cricket Academy and to see so many local lads coming up through the ranks to play senior and international cricket is wonderful.

“On a match day the promotions team often can be found helping other departments, selling programmes or welcoming hospitality guests.  Next season, we’re planning to do raffles on match days so keep an eye out for us!

“Last year we re-structured the financial side of the lottery to incorporate a rollover element, in addition to the weekly prizes.  Our biggest prize winner walked away with £3,000 and that was a really proud moment for us – it was the largest amount we have ever handout out and it was really lovely to see the reaction of the winner when we handed over his cheque.”

It costs just £1 per week to play the Durham CCC Howzat lottery, there are one in eight chances of winning one of 86 cash prizes a week, ranging from £10 to £250.  To find your local agent or to set up a standing order please contact the Howzat team on 0191 387 2889.

Howzat Standing Order Form [PDF, 414k]

Other articles in the series…

A day with Durham CCC’s…Media Manager