DLF IPL – A lesson in Marketing and Branding!
Today is 12th March’2010! – “THE ULTIMATE DAY” – At least for all those cricket fanatics who wait for this day throughout the year! It’s the start of the IPL season guys!
TV, Internet, Newspapers… Every medium is flooding with DLF IPL, a private event; that above all, explains the success of Indian Premier League. For a private event, entire media is fighting to give free of cost coverage! Strange, but Interesting! So what marketing and branding strategy has worked in favour of IPL?
One, “Packaging of the Event” from day 1 as entertainment is the biggest strategic hit. Cricket just happens to be there!
Two, to keep it focussed in 20 overs and inviting International players, not only enhanced the entertainment value but also factored in the fastest growing segment of high income youth. This segment is short of time and wants everything to be packaged small.
Three, It structured teams around states thereby ensuring team and brand loyalties and assured eyeballs when it comes to media.
Five, by following a well tried international model of clubs and player auctions, it got players interests and their willingness to give the tournament their 110%. Knowing that players are going to play attacking entertaining cricket attracts paid audience to the stadium and draws them towards other forms of media like TV, internet and print press.
Six, the public and press relations during the first two versions meant media hype was maintained and that has lead to immense unpaid publicity. Interestingly in IPL3, the organisers have offered strict terms for freebies for non-official media. The initial purpose having been achieved, the official TV channel is getting its due. That again hints to a well planned strategy.
Seven, getting International Cricket Council to keep a window for IPL season was the biggest strategic coup. Now cricket boards all over the world want to have similar event but may not be able to get well known players for their events!
Eight, do not forget that (Board of Cricket Control in India) ensured that the event got all international recognition and gave it the required financial backup to conceive and execute the event.
Nine, attracting the movie stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Shilpa Shetty along with highly placed industrialist as team owners, ensured ample media and public interest which further contributed to the success of the event.
Ten and finally, organisers packaging of all above and ensuring the event was always in controversies and news, meant branding exercise of the kind that has not been seen in sports. At the end of the end, we have a happy lot of bunches – public, sponsors, media and most importantly IPL bankers!
Good job done IPL, Lalit Modi and team- keep the IPL and Indian flag flying! IPL is one of the ways of telling the world that India has arrived.