A Tribute to Startups: Indian Premier League
Indian Premier League, the brain child of Board of Control for Cricket in India has now entered its 10th year with yet another brand new hype. It is a perfect case of how to create a sporting event that not only takes care of the entertainment quotient but also takes monetization as a critical imperative. In spite of all the flak it receives, one can simply not ignore the carnival and how it has entirely changed the sporting landscape across the entire globe. IPL showed the entire world the need to have a sound business model in order to succeed and promote excellence. While one could argue that ICL (Indian Cricket League) was the first mover in this area, but the entire sports fraternity would agree that IPL has been a much bigger success and much more whole-heartedly accepted. Like any popular brand, IPL had its own share of ups & downs, but it went on to endure all of it and became one of the most popular and wealthiest leagues in terms of evaluations across the world.
IPL ventured into the sports arena yet it showed the criticality to have a strategic mindset to be robust and focused in all aspects ranging from talent spotting, training to coaching. IPL has gone on to establish the scope and scale of T20 cricket, and has now in fact become a benchmark for sports and other financial models. Such has been its success that it made way for leagues in all other sports: Indian Hockey League, Pro Kabaddi League, ISL etc. The trail blazed by the IPL has established a certain faith that investors can put in while investing in this league which in turn has sparked a new life in the sporting culture in India.
It has not just put India at the world map for sports leagues, but rather become an inspiration for entrepreneurs in the making. It has given examples of being strong and coming out successfully despite all the atrocities. In terms of benefits, it not only generates revenue for the players and the team owners but thousands and lacs of people associated in turn with them. From the auto-rickshaw drivers, hospitality & media partners to street food vendors stacking up outside the stadium on the match eve, goodie sponsors, small scale merchants- every single one of them has been the beneficiary of this revolution. Even the sponsors’ lineup has been nothing less than amazing: the transition from DLF to Pepsi to Vivo IPL has been truly special. Even niche and lesser known brands like Oxigen and CP Plus have leveraged IPL platform to gain a high, top of the mind recall amongst the Indian audiences.
Believe it or not, it’s been nine successful years of this wonderful startup journey and its 10th edition is expected to be no different. Despite being in news for wrong reasons, it has remained one of the most trusted and biggest platforms to advertise in order to showcase your products and meet your business objectives. It has united India beyond ethnic lines where a Gujarati crowd roots for a UP boy, Pune roots for an Aussie skipper, a Jharkhand lad has become the heart and soul of Chennai and a Delhi guy makes waves for a Mumbai franchise.
It’s time to crown IPL as one of the best startups in the sporting industry. It has united families and friendships, and given a new glimmer of hope to lesser known players who would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Rubbing shoulders with top quality international players and coaches not only gives these small town lads a platform to learn, but exhibit their skills and make some decent money for living.
Though debatable, but it’s safe to say that IPL has been a success. It has flourished from a time when most of us didn’t even know about startups, and is now a leading example and source of inspiration to all the young entrepreneurs.
And it’s that time of the year where we simply sit back and watch some amazing game of cricket where quality cricket and tight finishes are the norm. It’s time to enjoy each and every moment with utmost enthusiasm. It’s time to let go of your emotions, be carefree, and put your heart out for your favorite team.
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