Saturday, April 25, 2009

ICL should Encash on IPL's popularity

If ICL does not ring a bell in your mind, well, it is Indian cricket League, a parallel cricket series and team (apart from BCCI), announced by Mr. Subhash Chandra, ESSEL Group. The timing of ICL's announcement could not have been better, Indian cricket had reached its nadir, with failure to qualify even in the quarter finals of world cup, people across India were disillusioned, and wanted to vent out their anger on the team and state-of-cricketing affairs. ICL was the answer to it, there was a great noise around its launch, but with time, unexpectedly India team rose like phoenix, becoming well neigh invincible.
Public memory as it is short, and the success of India cricket team, coupled with launch of IPL by BCCI, made the memory of ICL fade away. For me success of any event is directly proportional to the recall of the same, which subsequently converts to sponsorships and advertisements. I can hardly recall even the names of the ICL teams, leave alone the players. But, I do know, that Mr. Chandra with his tenacity, is continuing the series, and honoring all the commitments he made to the players.
So what should one do to make ICL a brand, that it attracts advertisers and sponsorship, If I were in the branding team of ICL, I would have suggested a very drastic action, that would have created a flutter in the media and subsequently in the minds of people.
My suggestion would be to hold an open challenge to IPL's winner to play the ICL's winning team in any format 20:20 or 50:50. This would have brought some controversies like snubbing, denial, refusal, maybe by ICC or BCCI, but ultimately the need for the event could have been created by public debate and sheer weight of the challenge.

Who would not want to witness at least once, the clash between the David and the Goliaths, public always wants entertainment, and anything which excites and entertains be it a notion or an event, is always prized. Advertisers are always looking for concepts and events, which excites public imagination. I think the ICL-IPL challenge would be a perfect cocktail for both public and advertisers, a mega event, generating huge interests, and in the process, reviving ICL, which sooner or later, if something drastic does not happen, will be on ventilator.

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