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  1. 1. BRAND MANAGEMENTA PROJECT ON BRANDING IPL TEAMS AND PLAYERSPGPM 2012-13Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon By Group 1: Sonal Dengle (P122044) Prarthana Verma (P122034) Pooja Gupta (P122033) Pashupathinath Rajan (P122032) Charles Cherian (P122008)
  2. 2. Indian Premier League Report 1. INTRODUCTIONIndia has a long-standing love affair with a game called cricket, a quintessentially British sport played as"creckett" in the sixteenth century, and popularized by the British Empire in the subcontinent since early1800s. Today, three in every 10 TV commercials will carry a cricketing theme or endorsed by Indias cricketheroes. In the new millennium, cricket went through an overhaul, truncated to 20 overs a side and a resultcould be obtained in three hours -- about as long as a baseball game. The Board of Cricket Control in India,muscled its power to trample Indian Cricket League (ICL) launched by Zee Group calling it unlicensed andbanning many international players, and borrowed many ideas from the English Premier League (UK),National Baseball Association (USA) and the first ICC T20 World Championship hosted by South Africa toform its own glitzy version, the Indian Premier League (IPL).In this project report, we would be investigating the role of branding in professional team sports in India.Wewould also be discussing about how a team contributes to the branding of a player and what does a playercontribute to the branding of a team.We would then be contrasting situations of a new (rookie) playerversus an established player, and a proposed new (expansion) team verses an established team. Finallywe would be providing some marketing advice to the rookie player in choosing a team and advice to anexpansion team in picking players for future matches. 2. LITERATURE REVIEW“It is not just marketing hype. There is significant substance with top players in the teams. It is a goodproduct which is now getting marketing support. Indian cricket is certainly headed in the same direction asfootball in the UK and baseball in the US.”Sridhar Samu, Professor, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad,in March 2008.The IPL was set up to imitate the franchise model of American sport -- a very cosy family business. Andeven if Indias biggest film stars and richest hard-nosed tycoons who own many of these cricket clubscontinually crave for the spotlight on themselves, the effulgence of IPL seized every cricket loversattention, and was subsequently appraised at a whopping $3.7 billion by Brand Finance, a London-basedconsulting firm that specializes in brand valuation. Indias rising middle class embraced this hit-and-Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  3. 3. Indian Premier League Report giggle version that was devised by England in 2003, as a way of reviving interest to its county cricket after five straight years of failing attendances. With this new acquired brand of T20 cricket, Indias city-based franchisees had truly come of age with one clear winner: Chennai Super Kings (CSK).From a brandingperspective, CSK, declared as the most valuable IPL franchisee began to differentiate itself, and amplybenefitted from the high level of identification of power symbols and a sensory palette of unique visual,verbal, and digital expression. CSK , if we observes its trend as an IPL team in terms of in branding andspecializing on consumer insight and technology ,should be awarded full marks in every facet of thecomplex branding process. Especially the team’s potential to build equity by capitalizing on the emotionalrelationship it shares with CSK fans that derive strength and a sense of identity from their affiliation withtheir team. Branding definitely plays a very important role in the sport industry in India today. We can againsay this because in the last two years established brands suchas Pepsi (The Game), Idea (Oongli Cricket), Havell’s (lightingmajor), and of course, Vodafone (Zoozoos) have campaignsdesigned specially for the upcoming seasons.As Rajeev Rao,national creative director, Ogilvy & Mather, creator of the Zoozoocampaign along with Prakash Varma of Nirvana Films, said in anearlier interview to Business Standard, “It is all about a clutter-busting idea.”Over the seasons, there have been marketing circleswhich are abuzz with talks of a brand overload around the Twenty20tournament, thanks to the numerous advertising and sponsorship opportunities floated by the IPL, ranging fromtelevision (Sony Max and Colors) and Internet (YouTube) to team sponsorships, ground sponsorships and theatrerights.Before every IPL season, each of the eight franchisees sells every possible sponsorship property includingapparel, kits, beverages and even post-match parties which helps to increase IPL’s brand value to a great extent.IPL, sports marketing is coming of age in India.Many brands do not fail to associate with the league due to the sports’popularity.Clutter is a reality outside IPL as well. IPL has roped in HSBC, Royal Challangers and HP as mainsponsors, while Coca-Cola, Airtel and Samsung are associate sponsors.YouTube even stuck a separate advertisingGreat Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  4. 4. Indian Premier League Reportdeal for the UK which tells us how international branding also plays a very important part in the sports industry inIndia. UFO Moviez, which has exclusive rights for screening of matches at theaters and public places, is currentlyeyeing an estimated Rs 40-50 crore in revenues.PVR Cinemas president PramodArora say revenue streams in termsof branding will be small for multiplexes this year but will become more significant in the coming years.Hotelsmostlyexpect Rs 40-50 crore revenues through room occupancies and food & beverages sales. Rajeev Menon,areaVP(India,Malaysia and Maldives) believes that IPL has always come at a good time for hoteliers, , with teams, otherdelegates and fans coming in large numbers.Despite it being offered on several mediums, most viewers are catch the matches on TV and Sony Maxand the official broadcasters pulled in Rs 850-900 crore through advertising deals from the previousseason."There are various ways IPL content can now be consumed though I believe television will remainthe largest platform by which consumers will watch IPL matches," says L K Gupta, chief marketing officer attop consumer electronics firm LG India.Hence, we can successfully say that branding of professional sportsin India, is slowly gaining momentum day by day,or shall we say,season by season with IPL!We shall now see as to how a team contributes to the branding of a player and what does a playercontribute to the branding of a team.In IPL each team has a mix of players from India and other nations. There is a mutual contribution of aplayer to the team and vice-versa. As far as the branding of the team through the player isconcerned,with the involvement of players from several nations, IPL has become a global brand. Alsoeach team is liked and promoted keeping in mind the mix of the players (both national and international).Additionally the organizers of the game believe that though a domestic league, IPL will be a global businesswith global investors, global players, and a global broadcast.In this global level game which is promotedalso keeping the cities at the heart has certain rules for the franchises before the auction for individualplayers started (since 2008). It had selected a few senior players as icon players and they represented thecity they hailed from.The rule made it mandatory for the icon players to play for their cities to increase thefan base and loyalty for a particular franchise intheir respective city.The strategy to keep the icon playersfrom the respective cities helps to promote the whole event from the patronage of the followers from theplace of the teams. Then the anthems, songs, & merchandises in the presence of these players only add tothe feeling of patronage in India.As far as the team’s brand endorsement through the players is concerned, IPL has created abenchmark of being the high point of the cricket odyssey in India. It has become an expression of theGreat Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  5. 5. Indian Premier League Reportemerging new reality of world cricket and of the growing Indian influence in International League games.Ingeneral, celebrity endorsers may draw attention to ads, increase awareness of the brand, and help todifferentiate one brand from another. Advertisers hope that positive attitude toward the endorser willtransfer to the ad and the brand. Source credibility is an important influence on the formation of attitudestoward endorsers and the transfer of this affect toward the endorsed brand. The superstar players havehigh brand equities due to many reasons. From the behavior perspective, the brand value could stem fromthe cultural meanings with which these celebrity players are endowed. Such cultural meanings may includestatus, class, gender, and age as well as personality and lifestyles. Players brands are valuable becausethese cultural meanings can be passed from the celebrity players to consumers through services provided(e.g., games) and products endorsed. Such superstar effects arise because of joint consumptiontechnology and imperfect substitution of consumers’ preferences. The joint consumption technologyindicates that a large number of people can consume the “celebrity” service together, thus implying greateconomies of scale for superstars. The imperfect substitution means that quantity cannot substitute forquality; that is, the value of watching a superstar player is higher than the value of watching severalmediocre players. And this is the one of the vital reasons as to why branding in Indian Sports has increaseddrastically.Most importantly, it is also ensured that celebrities are chosen accordingly whose image fitsproperly with the sport they are associated with.This can be explained by seeing the framework on brandalliance as follows:Conceptual Framework on Brand AllianceThe above diagram explains that there is certain value added by the player to the brand of the team.Further, there is certain value which is added by the team to the brand equity of the player. Thus, bothtogether form a brand alliance to add value to the complete system.Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  6. 6. Indian Premier League ReportNow we will see as to what a team contributes to the branding of a player.Opportunities in International level CricketThe major advantages of IPL are that many unknown players across the country get an opportunity toprove their talents.Times where Ranji Cricket was considered as a gateway for entering InternationalCricket arena has been overshadowed by IPL cricket now.Players who have outperformed in IPL have been given a shot to showcase their talent in InternationalCricket.The most important players in any side are the ones who perform in big match situations – theknockouts (or playoffs) in a tournament and the deciders in bilateral series. They are the ones who relishthe big challenges and produce their best when their teams most need it. They are the real gems of anyside when their teams go on to lift the trophy – they are the ones who define the tournament (or series, inbilateral encounters) – this is the real legacy of a player.Amongst the 9 squads in IPL 2012, there were 57 players who have a history of series/tournament-definingperformances. It is perhaps not a coincidence that amongst the teams that have made this year’sknockouts, the team with the maximum series/tournament-defining players have made the playoffs– all fourof them.Table 2 contains the complete list with the respective teams (arranged as per their positions in the finalleague table) and the number of players in each team who have had such performances in their T20careers.IPL: A Money Game :With the example of England batsman Kevin Petersen’s shocking retirement, it issaid that players are tempted to play in the Twenty 20 competitions to earn more money in less time. Theinfluence of the IPL in most of these decisions is massive. Players will always choose maximum incomefrom a minimal time commitment if they have the chance.The major advantages of IPL are that manyunknown players across the country get an opportunity to prove their talents.Times where Ranji Cricketwas considered as a gateway for entering International Cricket arena has been overshadowed by IPLcricket now.Being associated with an IPL Team for any cricketer can be substantiated by the survey resultconducted by the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA). They took an opinion among 150players and came to the conclusion that IPL is the most important game for them professionally. The poll result: 32% players aim to quit the international cricket early for IPL and other T20 leagues. 40% say that they imagine putting IPL above country as international schedule is usually very hectic.Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  7. 7. Indian Premier League Report 94% feel that the budding cricketers will train themselves mainly for T20 pattern as IPL offers a huge fee 39% point out that spectators are losing interest in One Day Internationals as many tournaments are being held every year.Thus, IPLs advantages are remarkable but one must see that commitment towards country does not suffer.IPL teams keep changing with time with the removal of old, under-performing players and addition of newplayers in the team. These new players are added in the team to make the team stronger and to fill up gapsthat were left in the previous year’s game. Adding new strong players in the team also increases the brandequity value of the team. Some new players that got involved in IPL 2012 are: Sunil Narine and Marchantde Lange joined KKR; Thisara Perera, who has played for CSK and KTK in previous IPL seasons, playedfor MI in IPL 2012; Mahela Jayawardene who has played for KXIP and KTK previously, joined DD. Rookiesare taken into team to bring in new energy and to promote new talent. They are trained under experts andexperienced cricketers. Rookies are also taken in team when team has certain budget issues. For eg:Graham Napier from England was selected in IPL season 2 2009 to play for MI.Since contribution of player towards the team is crucial and so is team contribution towards branding theplayer, let us now look at few contrasting points between a new (rookie) players who joins a teamversus a player who is well established and has been playing in the team for a while.Some differentiating points are: Brand Identity: The new player has to establish its brand identity in the team using his strengths and qualities while an established player had already done so over a period of time. Bidders, viewers and owners of the team look at the past record of the player to access what his strengths are and how that strength can be leveraged in the team for building up a strong team. The new player has to always prove his capability as a player even though he would have played matches elsewhere but his performance may tend to vary in the IPL team. Core Competencies: There might be players with same core competency i.e., bowling, batting or wicket keeping. So a new player has to compete in the team against an established player in order to emerge as a stronger player compared to the other one. Competing against each other would also result in better performance in the team. Team Culture: An established player is well aware of team’s culture and its values. A new player has to make the efforts to understand the team’s environment and get adapted to it. Also, IPLGreat Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  8. 8. Indian Premier League Report brings players from other countries in a team to play with each other while some of these players were playing against each other in other matches. It becomes difficult to adjust to the new values the team has built up. So a new player sometimes requires time to gel in the team’s culture. Trust/Creditability: Generally trust/creditability is more on an established player than a new player because the team knows his performance, skills, competencies and experience with the current team. A new player has to work on gaining trust in the team. Performance: A new player will also have pressure to perform well in the team otherwise critics may question his selection in the team, while the scenario is different for an established player. An established player could risk not performing well in the team as he might have performed well in past proving his capability and loyalty to the team. The challenges are more complex for a rookie as compared to that of an established player due to prior exposure to the game. Growth: A new player in the introduction phase of the game has to adapt to the new changes while an established player at the same time would be in the growth or maturity phase of the game. Energy levels: Energy levels might be high in case of a rookie as he has new experiences and to prove his identity in the team. An established player would be an enthusiast and keeps encouraging the team to work hard while a rookie works on developing his own self and getting adjusted to the team. “Icon Player”: While an establish player can get benefit of relating his image to that of an “Icon Player”, a new player might not get it soon. Because association of that player with the state and show casing strong talent is necessary this would have already been served by an established player. Experience and Associations: A rookie lacks experience and associations with the brand. While an established player can boast of having international and varied experience like that of one-days, test matches, playing and performing under pressure, etc. Since the player is new to the game, he doesn’t have many brands associated with him, so the team as a whole might not see many benefits out of him.With ever changing IPL, not only new players are getting involved in the event but also many new teamsare being formed. New teams increase the competition and thrill of the game. Hyderabad is planning tointroduce its team for IPL 2013. Likewise, Pune and Kerala added their teams namely Pune Warriors IndiaGreat Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  9. 9. Indian Premier League Reportand Kochi Tuskers Kerala in the year IPL 2011 and gave tough competition to all the established teams.Lets us look at some contrasting points between a newly formed team and an established team.Players: New teams bring in new players, who didn’t participate in IPL previously and some players whohave played IPL previously. But the difficulty that a new team faces is to bind the team together. Againhere, players have played against each other at some point in time, so it becomes essential for the playersto work as a team towards a common set goal.Vision/Goal: A new team lacks vision and goal. The team as a whole has to form a common goal thateverybody must follow. An established team already has clearly defined goals while the it takes time todefine goals in a new team.Culture: The newly formed team has to define a culture that it wants to inculcate in its team players. Alsosome of the players might be new to IPL. So the culture has to be developed to share knowledge withfellow cricketers. An established team has well defined culture, a coach and experienced players in theteam.Enthusiasm in Team: The newly formed team is full of energy to perform in the IPL for the very first time.This energy level is different from that of an established team.Pressure to Perform: The newly formed team has to face more pressure than an established team toprove its identity. The defeat can also result in loss of faith of public and sponsors. It becomes extremelydifficult to bring in sponsors next time when a newly formed team has performed badly the first time.Pressure is also to deal with critics that may come up with formation of a new team. An established teamcan afford to perform badly in a couple of matches or in a season because it has some past evidence toprove its existence.Since we have now analyzed the role played by sports teams and sportspersons in branding a competitionand vice-versa, and what challenges a new player and a new team faces, it’s important to also understandthe consideration(s) which may make a player choose a sports team and sports teams choose aplayer. Since IPL has been the context all along, this would also be using the same case-based examples.Generally, rookies are spotted and taken into training by junior level coaches of these sports teams fromamateur level competitions created specifically by these sports teams within their cities. The second way isGreat Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  10. 10. Indian Premier League Reportthe traditional selection that happens from first class cricket matches. It is during this time that the playersget observed closely and continuously by these coaches and are referred to the senior coach. Finally, thesenior coach decides to observe one performance of the rookie and make the decision. However, there arealso cases of talent spotting happening across states and offers being made to rookie players of differentstates. The case of Ravinder Jadeja and IPL team Rajasthan Royals is one such example. Once they startperforming and putting in good situation defining performances he is slowly promoted as the face of thebrand itself through merchandising, advertisements and events. It is at this point, when he comes to thelimelight of the nation, other brands and consequently the national team. Hence, it becomes very importantfor a rookie to choose his team and for a expanding team when choosing players.We have also learnt from our previous findings that how a local player can break the clutter for the team byeither an icon status or putting season defining performances. So in the first part we present our marketingadvice to a rookie player in a choosing a team without using brand jargons. 1. He should consider the team’s performance for the recent few years on the pitch. 2. He should look at team’s off-the-field image especially in terms of player conducts and controversies. Sometimes negative marketing helps to bring the team to national attention, but has a reverse affect on popularity among general population of cricket fans, which would never benefit a rookie. 3. He should look at the composition of the team in terms of foreign players, Indian national team players and rookie players. He must see how many rookies have been given front-line opportunities within the team, how has the association benefited their careers and how would it benefit the learning/experience he would get out of joining this team. 4. He should look at the way the rookie players are contracted which typically should be performance oriented and never fixed. 5. He should look at the team’s visibility nationally and globally. We have learnt that IPL is a global brand now and teams are promoted on all forms of media channels, hence it becomes important for a rookie player to see the presence of the team it chooses throughout all mediums of reach. 6. He can also look for sponsors associated with the team because later on it’ll help him build up public relations in the media.Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  11. 11. Indian Premier League ReportIn the second part, we try to present our advice to a expanding team when choosing new players. Weunderstand that the team and their owners as well as BCCI follow a tried and tested way of player auctions.This is already popular in sports like football and basketball all over the world. We have also learnt from thisresearch that icon players and top performing players form the face of the team in advertisements andother promotions. Therefore indirectly the revenue channel for the owner. 1. The relation can be understood from the brand framework alliance described previously when choosing a new player in terms of equity addition measured directly against the cost of buying and contracting the player. 2. A healthy mix of foreign, national and rookie players is necessary not only as per rules but also to keep the authenticity of the team in front of supporters of the game. A healthy mix will ensure varied experience that the players will have that’ll the team to face challenges. 3. Due to relaxation of icon player rule in recent times, many teams now scramble to get the big players in their roster. This may adversely affect the development of rookies and its brand value as the new player was the face another team for a number of seasons. Supporters do not change associations very quickly. A good example here is the New York Yankees or Manchester United where players are never promoted to be larger than the club itself. This is the reason the recall of the team happens first and then the players associated with it. 4. The player’s on-field and off-field image also plays an important part in the team’s decision to buy him. This is because of the direct relation it has on the brand equity of the team. 5. Brands associated with a player also matters as this can help the team arrange for sponsorships. 6. Select players who will be able to align well with the culture that the team wants to build.To conclude, in this report we have tried to reflect our understanding of the Indian Premier League, as tohow branding in Indian Sports have shown a tremendous increase, how the teams in IPL and players arecontribute to each other, different situations of rookie and established players and what marketing advicecan be given to IPL teams when they want to expand. IPL is a sport or should be say, a brand by itselfwhich is still nurturing and has brought India into the spot light. This phenomenon of IPL would surely keepshowing its fame down the years.Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1
  12. 12. Indian Premier League ReportAppendixTable. 1 shows the selected icon players in the year 2008.Table.1 Icon Players in IPL (2008)PLAYER FRANCHISERahul Dravid BangaloreSachin Tendulkar MumbaiSauravGanguly KolkataVirenderSehwag DelhiVVS Laxman* HyderbadYuvraj Singh MohaliSource: www.indiatwenty20.com.* VVS Laxman voluntarily opted out of icon status so that Hyderabad franchise would have more money forbidding. Chennai and Jaipur had no senior players from those cities to be awarded icon status.Table 2: List of players in the IPL for 2012Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – Group 1