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It's not cricket, stupid! It's business!

April 8, 2008
Down south, Rakesh Singh, the marketing head of India Cements, the company that bid and won the franchise for IPL's Chennai team, isn't any better off.

Working round the clock, he's stuck in back-to-back meetings to chalk out strategies and build excitement around the Chennai Superkings and to sign sponsorship deals with advertisers like Aircel and Reebok. That team, led by M S Dhoni, has Tamil cinema heartthrobs Nayanthara and Vijay as its ambassadors.

Whether it's Fraser Castellino, CEO, Emerging Media, that owns the Jaipur IPL team, or R Balachandran, president & chief marketing officer, Reliance Retail, who is managing the affairs of Reliance Industries' cricket team, they're all snowed under.

Clearly, the top executives of the eight IPL teams, auctioned for the 44-day tournament, are stepping on the gas to conclude sponsorship deals, brand endorsement contracts, television campaigns and ground promotion activities, in-stadia events and entry ticket prices.

Image: Business tycoon Ness Wadia (L) and Bollywood actress and owner of the Mohali team Priety Zinta, arrive for the inaugural Indian Premier League Twenty20 players' auction in Mumbai | Photograph: Sajjad Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

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