IPL – What Makes It Successful?

The Indian Premier League (IPL), the great Indian cricket circus, is into it’s sixth year and is a very successful event too. Yes, it has it’s detractors, but if it is going on for a sixth year in a row and the crowds are thronging the stadium, then it can be very well assumed that the event is a success. Going deep into what makes the event grand will leave you with many marketing master strokes.

Indian people (most of them) live on a staple diet of cricket and Bollywood. You will very rarely find an Indian who does not have an interest in either of them. So what the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) did was to bring the cricketing stars and the Bollywood stars together and make an event that caters to the masses as well as the classes. So, when you see a certain Brendon McCullum hitting a six and a certain Shah Rukh Khan cheering him on, does not it make your evening enjoyable?

The next master stroke was the format of the game. They chose T20 as it is short and, in 2008, when IPL started, India was the World champion in that format and everybody wanted a piece of the players in T20. The game duration is short so that you can fit in a game daily and the timings are as late as eight o’clock in the evening, then even the salaried class can come back home and enjoy a game of cricket.

Ideas are one thing and their execution is another. When it was executed with the grand opening ceremonies with all the world’s cricket stars at a single place and cheer girls galore at the stadium, it turned out to be better than it would have seemed on paper. The matches were scheduled in the month of April and May, which is the summer season in India, so that people do not face any problem sitting in the stadium at night.

Also, it is vacation time for the kids and it gives time for their mothers to join in the fun. The matches were played in some small cities like Ranchi and Dharamshala, where people thronged to the stadium as there is not a high possibility of them having an international game making this their best chance to see their stars in action on the ground.

People might say that Kapil Dev brought the Indian Cricket League (ICL) first, but that was not successful. They might also say that the English Premier League (EPL) was the first to be in this league concept. But then, it takes a huge amount of work, and that too at the grass root level, to make an event as big as this a grand success in a developing country like India.

In my next article I will focus on the positives that the IPL has brought to Indian cricket.
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Indian Premier League