The novelty of IPL is not wearing off anytime soon!
In spite of the scandals and the rumours, IPL is still expected to be much better in terms of popularity and viewership in its 11th edition.
The honeymoon period is long over, there has been a match-fixing scandal, its founder is MIA, but still, IPL continues to enjoy great popularity among fans, players, and sponsors. Of Course, India being a cricket lovers nation, it starts with an advantage. Even so, to consistently engage a large section of the audience both at home and abroad over a decade is no mean feat.
As IPL 2018 is in full swing, here are five reasons that will give you an insight into the secrets behind the ever-rising IPL popularity
1.The game, the timing, and the format
The game of cricket itself enjoys cult status in India with passionate fans worshipping at the feet of their favourite players. Irrespective of the results, millions of fans are crazy about the game itself. The only issue that the non-purists of the game might have had would be the length. Today’s generation craves excitement and leave alone whole day tests, watching a fifty over match was increasingly becoming too taxing. IPL has cleverly addressed this bottleneck by incorporating the 20 over format. As the IPL is played in summer and telecast during prime-time slot, it is easier to watch it than not.
2.The entertainment and the excitement
IPL smartly and most efficiently marries the two loves of all Indians - cricket and cinema. The star presence is an added attraction right from the opening ceremony, matches, and even online. The music, cheerleaders, and fireworks add to the ambiance and general excitement. With many major stars and page 3 team owners, audience is even more attracted to participate in the proceedings. Apart from the entertainers, IPL season is also a very good opportunity for cricket fans to see their favorite retired players as team coaches, mentors, commentators, or panelists/guests on TV shows.
fans no longer have to compete for watching IPL on TV with other family members who are devotees of daily soaps. They can watch matches right on their cell phones or computer. Add cheaper and better internet access to the mix and IPL follows you no matter where you go. Digital access has also made the tournament more interactive on social media platforms and fan communities. Various streaming services also give greater control and flexibility over setting reminders for the matches, watching highlights, and players interviews.
One of the reasons why IPL continues to enjoy great popularity is the constant marketing and promotional buzz surrounding it. Even the peripheral activities like player auction, game analysis, opening and closing ceremonies etc are promoted with due pomp and prestige. High profile brands flock to the tournaments and teams for access and association. Presence of international players along with the ‘homegrown’ boys also adds to the buzz surrounding the game. Unique marketing campaigns (for eg. Vodafone’s zoozoo) also drive audience excitement.
5.The cash flow
The ever-increasing sponsorships along with revenues from broadcasting rights, merchandising, and ticket sales ensure that IPL and its players will never suffer from a cash crunch. This financial affluence in itself indicates great stability and is enticing for the team owners, players, and sponsors to get on board. This participation and presence, in turn, augments the IPL profile and makes it even more popular with the fans. The financial security also gives the team owners an opportunity to invest in aspirational local talent, evoking regional loyalty and fan following for the game.
IPL represents different things to different people. For some of us it is the edge of the seat excitement, for others, it is the entertainment quotient, and for many of us, it is the enjoyment of watching cricketers adapt to the fast and dynamic play conditions. So, no matter your age, sex, or city, IPL continues to create excitement for cricket fans as a whole. This ability to inspire fans and players is the key reason why it continues to be so successful.
Deboshree Mazumdar is an Engineering Graduate and an event enthusiast. A software whiz spending her life in between lines of code - finding her true calling in content when she walked out of a super successful career in blue chip IT company to join Onspon.
She has a keen interest in event trends and has interacted with senior event stakeholders in understanding how great events get profitable. She is a part of social media team of Onspon managing user feedback redressal and client engagement. She is a content marketer and a key contributor to Onspon Blog. An avid backpacker and a movie buff, she lives in Mumbai and is open to conversations on any topic under the sun!
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