Wednesday, April 9, 2008

IPL Season starts soon - monetizing of cricket

That's it folks - its time to see the real show!

A lot has been said and promised by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) and its Indian Premier League (IPL). We have witnessed a string of auctions and bidding processes in the media for a sporting event that is expected to revolutionize the way we look at sports in the country.

India's richest sport - CRICKET - is all set to launch the first tournament of its much glamorized Indian Premier League (IPL).

Starting 18 April 2008 at Bangalore with the first match that will be played between Vijay Mallya's Royal Challengers and Shahrukh Khan's Knight Riders. The tournament will culminate at Mumbai on 1 June 2008.

It is time to see, on the ground, the actual sport of the event that has hogged so much media space, for more than the last couple of months, for its sensational auctions and high value bids. I am waiting to see whether the event is able to meet the expectations of its organizers. Whether it is able to gain the level of popularity and kind of viewership that its sponsors are dreaming for.

A lot of money has already been put in and a lot is at stake in the tournament. Several thousands of crores of rupees have been pumped in at various stages by the franchise owners and sponsor partners.

I don't think anyone is spending so much money for charity. Each and every one of those involved has made an investment and is out to make money. One can expect these parties to utilize every gimmick possible to motivate cricket fans to loosen their purse strings and shell out money. Considering the amount of investment done it is obvious that they are looking forward to making a lot of money.

Could the Indian Premier League be the trigger that the national economy is looking for? Presently, grapling with inflation and facing a industrial slowdown coupled with an global financial turmoil the economy is desparately seeking a stimulus to put it back on the growth track.