In 2008 the Board of Control for Cricket India, initiated the Indian Premier League (IPL) -a professional league for Twenty20 cricket format competition. But even before its start the IPL was in the news for its altercation between the Indian Cricket League (ICL) started by Subhash Chandra of Zee Telefilms Ltd. The BCCI used many tactics (including threatening players who joined ICL that they would not be picked up for national team, raising prize money, inviting celebrities... to eventually crush the ICL format that had started almost a year before.
It was Integrated Marketing communication at its best, no channel no mode of communication was left: TV, newspaper, internet, mobiles, every communication was uniform in promoting IPL during its launch and its subsequent seasons. Following is what IPL did right and did differently: 1. The Twenty20 Format It was new, innovative and short (2. 5 hour). What was initially being thought of as a big gamble eventually paid out and many who thought it almost blasphemous to change the format of the “gentleman’s game” were finally forced to embrace the new format .
It changed the feeling of cricket itself, made it fast paced, exciting and appealing.
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Cricket + Entertainment= great combination
There is no doubt that cricket is synonymous with entertainment when it comes to sports, however the IPL form of entertainment brought with it new elements such as Cheerleaders, star studded opening ceremony, loud party music between shots... that made it lot more than just sports. IPL became synonymous with Glitz and glamour both on and off field, matches were even screened in movie halls
Apart from the celebrity players, the owners and even the brand ambassadors of various teams were flamboyant and contributed to the secondary associations of IPL. There was no dearth of big names as one after the other all famous personalities were roped in to represent the teams. These include Anil Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty, Elizabeth Hurley, Abhishesk Bacchan, Rahul Bose, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Saina Nehwal, Farah Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Daler Mehendi, Ila Arun, Juhi Chawla, Karan Johar, Arjun Rampal, Akshay Kumar. . IPL Player Auction Never in history of Indian television had such numbers been rolled out for public viewing. The auction format, wherein players were to be “auctioned” had considerable shock value for Indian viewers, but it also gave an indication of the big money that was involved in cricket and specially IPL. There was some negative publicity as well like when Saurav Ganguly was not sold off in the auction, but it just added to the ongoing publicity of IPL.
Until 2010, IPL also had the Icon Player concept wherein one player in each team earned 15% more than the next highest player in the team. This concept was added as there were some players who if played in some other team would have caused huge disappointment to their fans, like if Sachin Tendulkar played for some other team than Mumbai Indians it wold crush the Mumbai fans. But this was later n removed as it was considered not fair to the icon players.
Packaging of the event
In 2010, Google (the company which runs You Tube) wanting to grow the online video market in India, knew that it had to try to grab a share of the TV eyeballs and therefore IPL became the first sporting event ever to be broadcast live on YouTube in association with Indiatimes.
Players from all over the world played alongside Indian players and BCCI made sure that the event got the international recognition and provided the financial backing it needed. The television rights for IPL are with Sony Entertainment television network and World Sport Group (Singapore), they broadcasted the matches the auction etc well. * The media hype was maintained throughout and there were a number of creative ads which popularized the promo of IPL every season. The ads covered different segments of people and had a tinge of humor but they all conveyed the single thought of cricket entertainment to all segments.
- Complete use of social media: YouTube, twitter, FaceBook, Wikipedia and online page.
Purists may say that IPL is not cricket, and they may be right. For IPL marketed as the ‘Entertainment ka Baap’ is not just cricket but glamour, fun, sports and experience all rolled into one and for once the promise was delivered.
- http://blog. abhinav. com/dlf-ipl-%E2%80%93-a-lesson-in-marketing-and-branding/
- http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Indian_Premier_League#History
- http://marketerskaleidoscope. com/2010/03/the-real-story-about-why-youtubes-streaming-the-ipl-cricket-tournament/
- http://marketingteacher. com/swot/indian-premier-league-swot. html
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