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Archive for the ‘IPL’ Category

So IPL is causing a huge hullabaloo all over and b-schools are doing something about it. We had a tête-a-tête on IPL today. I got to hear some nice words such as –
Audience burnout, player burnout, $1.02 Billion, BCCI, richest cricketing body, city rivalry, IPL v/s EPL, enthralled masses and all that. Oh yes those two words that hit high on MBA vocabulary – perceived value, continuous innovation, improvement. Not that I know what IPL is, professing as much that I don’t give a tiny rat’s arse about it).
One curious thing that hit me in the discussion was the nomenclature of team names. Is there a logic, is there a bias or is there something more? I thought I should explore.

Team names – Sans logic

  1. Kolkata Knight Riders – I don’t know why did they choose this name. The only clue I managed to eke out was that Knight Riders was a serial broadcast in NBC.
  2. Deccan Chargers – No logic it seems (atleast to me). The team is from Hyderabad and is owned by Deccan Chronicle. Is there a link?
  3. Delhi Daredevils – Okay what is so daredevilry about Delhi? Delhi is unsafe for women so the men causing all this pain are the daredevils. Or is it the vestiges of the monkey man saga and idol-drinking-milk-which-spread-through-word-of-mouth? Nothing, zilch.
  4. Chennai Super Kings – Soopper seri, aana Soopper Kings? (Super is okay, but Super Kings?) I guess it has got to do with the past dynasties of Cholas, Cheras and Pandyas. Incidentally these kings rules in the current states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka had separate rulers, I think and hence they have separate teams. Is that logic? Very weak.

Team Name – Weak Logic

  1. Punjab Kings – Okay I accept. North Indians were rulers of great awe and to this day the north-south divide still says North India was more prone to attacks from firangis. Amen !!

Team Names Strong logic

  1. Rajasthan Royals – Doesn’t that fit so beautifully. Rajasthan has a history of royals.
  2. Royal Challengers Bangalore – Notice the departure here. The team name comes before the city that it represents. Ah the wicked imagination one Mr. Mallya. So the brand represents him (forget the alcohol for a minute) and Bangalore and UB go together. I get that it is from Bangalore. But why put the suggestive RC (remember all you engineers and all ye engineers languishing in B-Schools) before the city name? Innovation eh?

Team Name well, hmmm, mmm

  1. Mumbai Indians – It defies the template <City_Represented><No Logic, History, Brands>. Instead it goes on to the next level, the country itself. Mumbai is okay but putting Indians after that seems a bit out of place. So this team has nationalistic connotations. Mumbai at several levels means so much to so many people. But then why not use that, why India? On a different note say I am cheering for several teams. I can exclaim “the Chargers won”, “those Knight Riders gave it all away”, or even “the Challengers look challenged”.
    1. Doesn’t it seem really awkward to say “Yey, the Indians won!”? Aren’t we all that?

If you people do think there is something behind the nomenclature or just your thoughts, ping in.

Amen.

-Egghead

PS – For my own safety reasons, please consider this post just as a rant. A break from B-School vicissitudes, MBA thinking, anyways you might want to call it. Like whatchamacallit.

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A rare sight on a cricket ground leaves my 88 year old grand father rather flummoxed. He has never seen white women shaking their bon-bons on a cricket field wearing negligible amounts of clothing.

A hit for a six and he questions, “Why are they dancing around like that?”, my Uncle’s response, “Because the ball’s lost”.

Cheerleading has been prevalent since the 19th century. Wiki says the first organized recorded cheer was at Princeton University way back in 1884. Interestingly the writer also calls it a sport. No doubt that the ‘activity’ involves amazing levels of athletic agility but to an 88 year old man it looks like the next level of objectifying the female body. Okay stop with the groans, I shan’t go down that path considering a large chunk of IPL’s success can be accredited to these blanco chicas strutting their stuff during the best shots of the match. Only now instead of 3 shot replays they show just one, but then again who’s complaining? Certainly not the men (all ages included).

Let’s look at the marketing aspect of this ‘sport in sport’ showcase. The objective of cheerleaders is to rev up the crowd so that they cheer on the team. By the looks of it they do gather attention and get the heart beats racing. In the IPL context, the cheerleaders have given a more international(western) appeal to league. They define a part of the entertainment that makes up the term cricketainment. But are we as a country evolved enough to see these women purely as a cheer squad and not as a object of sex. The truth is that for men that would be hard to do, even in more sexually evolved countries of the west. The only difference is out there they do not react the way Indian men (white cheerleaders have complained of incessant leering from spectators) do simply cause objectifying women has been a mainstay in all entertainment for decades.

Does this mean that cheerleaders should be banned? Of course not! As a woman I do not appreciate the very obvious attraction these women provide but as a marketer they are simply giving the consumers what they want and raking in more moolah for the IPL promoters. All in all cheerleading is here to stay. One more import from the West that has helped IPL make a successful début. Love them or hate them you can’t ignore them especially if they means so much economically. Next to watch is the rise of Sports management agencies making Sport a more professional field in this country.

Now let’s just hope all this success it rubs off on other sports too!

-nik