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Dipstick: Why IPL remains unaffected by controversies

The bigger the event, the faster the gossip mills churn and what can be bigger in the sporting world in India than the Indian Premier League? Despite the many controversies that has dogged IPL, it seems unaffected by it all. tries to find out why

Roshni Nair | Mumbai | March 20, 2017


It has been a decade since the Indian Premier League made its foray onto our television sets. The sporting spectacle has since then garnered a fan following and viewership that can only truly be rivalled by a heated India-Pakistan match.

But these 10 years haven’t been smooth sailing for the league, marked by many controversies. From the ‘Slap gate’ fiasco to the spot-fixing disaster, IPL has sailed through some rough waters. But the controversies have neither affected the viewership nor have they made any dent in brands riding the IPL bandwagon with all its razzmatazz.

So why has IPL remained unaffected by controversies? talks to the industry to figure out.

Vinit Kranik Vinit Kranik

Vinit Karnik, Business Head, ESP Properties

I am just cricket’s fan. I don’t really bother about how the administration is running it beyond a point. India is a large country and for people here cricket is their religion. Cricket is what they love to play, watch and follow. For 10 years, IPL has been on and courting controversy year-on-year, so to say. But the day the first ball is bowled till the day the last ball is bowled, everyone seems to forget about it. IPL has become part of our country’s, state and city’s fabric. There is a set audience that will go to a Mumbai Indians or a Royal Challengers Bangalore game year-on-year, which means it has become part of our fabric and that won’t change unless something drastic happens. From a fan point of view, it is a great four-hour show and a great 45-day carnival on television and that is why we haven’t seen numbers or the brands’ interest in IPL go down.

Siddharth Banerjee Siddharth Banerjee

Siddharth Banerjee, EVP, Marketing, Vodafone India

India is a cricket-obsessed nation and IPL is one of the biggest mass media properties in India with the perfect blend of cricket and Bollywood. This allows brands to connect effectively with a wide spectrum of consumers. No other cricketing platform packages sport, talent, chutzpah and entertainment together on one platform, as successfully as the IPL.

Vodafone has been the only brand that has been associated with it since inception. Our partnership with IPL across the years has helped Vodafone connect with cross-segments of television viewers and cricket lovers in India. In fact, the unique format of this tournament led to the birth of one of our favourites and most loved iconic mascot, the Zoozoos, that have always added to the excitement by celebrating the game and will continue to do so this year also. This decade-long association helped us build properties such as Super Fan, which gives Vodafone customers a larger-than-life experience that money can’t buy.

This being the 10th year, we look forward to an even more exciting season as we all come together and celebrate the India cricket moments and its fans. All our plans this year will make sure the experiences around the IPL are bigger and better.

Indranil Das Blah Indranil Das Blah

Indranil Das Blah, Founding Partner, Kwan Entertainment & Marketing Solutions

IPL is the biggest entertainment property in the country and one of the biggest entertainment sporting properties in the world. If you look at the history of IPL, there hasn’t been a single year when there hasn’t been controversy. IPL and controversies go hand-in-hand but because the product is such a god product on the field and the way it has been packaged by the IPL committee and the BCCI. As long as the product on the field continues to be great and of international quality, I don’t think people are too worried about the controversies that happen off the field. So, I think IPL is a very strong product that is unaffected by the controversies that happen around it off the field.

Piyush Srivastava Piyush Srivastava

Piyush Srivastava, DGM Marketing, Head Media at Usha International

Cricket is a religion in India and the other aspect is that the players are mostly not really affected by these controversies. Also, despite all the controversies, IPL has been very smooth in organising the entire event. So, although it has courted controversies, the controversy has not come onto the cricket field.

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