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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Commercialization in IPL2

"That is a DLF Maximum", shouts the commentator on the TV - is it the new set of apartments that is being built/sold by the DLF builders? No. It is a six hit in the IPL2 matches. Another one - "It is a Citi Moment of Success". Citi by itself, has been facing a lot of problems on the financial side. What success is it providing? That is a fall of wicket in the same IPL2.

The sponsors are getting a big piece of the limelight by having commentators mention their names whenever a four/six is hit or a wicket is taken. That must be the additional value-add they are getting from IPL in the times of recession. Whether it works or not, is a big question. A company like DLF had to resort to selling their stake in the organization to recover from their crisis!!! All of us know how Citi Management is struggling to get back to their past glory.

The franchisees are seen giving out 100,000 Rand to different schools during breaks. Is it the tax benefits that they have been promised by the South African government? Maybe. The IPL organizers have promised that the franchisees will not lose by much during this IPL. So, how will the money be made? Stunts like Strategy Breaks. Everyone must be saying - Gimme a break. That is what Lalit Modi has given them!!! 10 minutes in each innings mean that the TV ads can be sold for so many more minutes - earning all that additional dollars.

The franchisees have ensured that they have at least 3-4 sponsors so that they recover their investments for the year. Just have a look at the jerseys of each team - there is virtually no place for any additional sponsors - so tightly packed are the ads on the players shirts. The ads on TV and numerous websites that have sprung up are another avenues where the teams are raking in the moolah.

Lalit Modi tried out yet another stunt - 6UP. This was the SMS game where viewers could send in the number of runs in an over that they thought would be hit. Thanks to the Sports Ministry, this game was pulled out.

Another ridiculous bit of news I heard was the fact that the TV broadcasting companies asking for one Indian player to be present in each of the domestic teams of the new England T20 competition (starting next year), as part of their proposal. What next? The company sponsoring the prize money would suggest bringing in the player who appears in their advertisements so that they can gain more limelight !!!

It does look that the next IPL can be held in a remote place like the Hawai Beach and Mr. Lalit Modi will still be laughing his way to the bank. No wonder, all the other countries are behind India to get the blueprint for conducting T20 competitions.
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