Tuesday, April 13, 2010

IPL Thoughts

Consider the ranks of the IPL teams in the last two seasons.

Bangalore - 7th, 2nd
Chennai - 2nd, 4th
Delhi - 4th, 3rd
Hyderabad - 8th, 1st
Kolkata - 6th, 8th
Mumbai - 5th, 7th
Punjab - 3rd, 5th
Rajasthan - 1st, 6th
There are only two teams which did not make it to the semi-finals on both occasions. One of the two has already qualified for this year's semis. That leaves only one poor slob who will be consistently among the last 3 in all three years.
And you know life's a bitch when you are supporting that team!

On happier topics, it is so exhilarating to see Dravid bat at a strike rate of 140+ without a single slog, usually after his team has lost an early wicket. Anil Kumble bowling at an economy rate of 6, having bowled his full quota of four overs in every single match.
And of course, the mixed reaction when you realise Sachin Tendulkar is the highest score of IPL III because now he has to wear the silly-looking orange cap. Strange, since it never looked silly when the others wore it earlier!
Not to forget, Ganguly's intermittent displays of inspired captaincy and majestic batting in between large periods of mediocrity.

As a marketing person, I am quite intrigued to see the amazing levels at which advertising messages are sent out in the IPL. They were amazing in the earlier years but this year, it has been mind-boggling.
For example, all catches are called Karbonn Kamaal Catch without fail. Sometimes, when fielders drop catches, the commentators say, "That could have been a Karbonn Kamaal Catch..."
Now, I want to know how do they ensure that the Citi Moment of Success / DLF Maximum etc is churned out x number of times in every single match? Is there an incentive for commentators? Are the companies promised that their brand will be mentioned ___ number of times? Is there a penalty clause?
In fact after a six, Gavaskar said, "That's a Karbonn Kamaal Catch for the spectators!" Why did he not say DLF Maximum? Was he being paid by, say, Unitech or Jaypee to ambush the DLF mentions on air?

While on the topic of ambush marketing, I now have a logical explanation for why KKR drops a million sitters every single match. With Nokia as their main sponsor, I am sure they have been strict instructions to ensure no mention of Karbonn happens in any of their matches!

This season, the greatest draw of the IPL matches for me has been the commentary on Twitter.
@greatbong is a hoot at the KKR matches and thankfully, he has carried on despite protests from his fans that he was clogging their timelines. Grow up, guys! What did you expect from greatBONG? (Best tweet)
@rameshsrivats continues his puns and funs - though not as often when RCB and/or CSK are not playing. I think he started the fantastic #agarkarfacts.
The discovery of the season, though, has been @eyepeeyell whose picture is that of an Alaskan Hussy. He is foul-mouthed, ill-tempered and a purist about cricket. To my mind, he is the Fake IPL Player of this season! (Best tweet)

Tomorrow, KKR plays Chennai. Rajasthan and Mumbai after that.
Shit, we can still come last!