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IPL: The successful business of cricket

April 30, 2008

At the time of going to press on April 24, Indian Premier League had produced only two last-over finishes, only three outstanding batting performances, a minor lathi charge and temporary darkness at Eden Gardens.

However, this Twenty20 jamboree was always expected to be as much about the game as about the associated things and atmosphere.

A bloke fell out of a stand at Eden as he strained to catch a glimpse of Shah Rukh Khan. Skimpily-clad cheerleaders are complaining of being leered at. Social historian Ramchandra Guha, on the other hand, is fulminating in protest against their presence.

Board of Control for Cricket in India's version of the English Premier League remains a cricket tournament, but only just so. Naturally, while some of the old faithful are keeping away, newer crowds are coming in to drive viewership data beyond the boundary.

Depending on where you stand, a crowd is also a section of consumers and target audience. Naturally, advertisers are taking a fresh look at their strategies and debating mid-course corrections.

Text: Govindkrishna Seshan & Aminah Sheikh

Image: A display of mannequins bearing images of Indian Premier League (IPL) Hyderabad team cricketers. | Photograph: Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images

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