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Saturday, March 27, 2010


Do you know what this is ? Clearly taking advertisement into the sky.

The mega sharks of marketing have ensured that IPL is played on Television and reach out to larger audience than to the gallery with host of innovations. In early days, at the end of over or at the fall of any wicket, you would have an expert voicing opinion. Who wants to hear all that when one can earn loads of revenue. Now we have advertisements in between the balls and any other possible slot. When a run out decision is pending, the screen fully aware that it is the place being watched by everyone runs mini commercials. As the bowler walks back to his run up, there are mini ads. Now this one towering above the stadiums, prominently featured in broadcasts with cameras zooming on them and commentator speaking on it and about the Company behind.

Even for the most ardent cricket lover, this is clearly overdose of cricket – 60 T20 IPL matches starting from Mar 12 ending Apr 25th. A small gap and then from 30th April to 16th May 2010, there would be ICC World T20 tournament !!!!! Unlike the limited over World Cup which is held once in 4 years starting from 1975 (1979,1983, 1987, 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 & 2007), the T20 WC is running limitless. The Tourney is to be held every two years. First was in 2007, when India won (remember the Misbah shot in the final over giving us victory by 5 runs); the second one was in June 2009, when Pak beat Lankans in the finals. Now less than a year the third version is to happen.

Actually, it was to be a Champions Trophy one day international tournament but revised to T20 citing reasons of postponement of 2008 Champions trophy in Pakistan due to security reasons. This tourney will feature 12 teams with Afghanistan and Ireland also in the fray. Matches will be played at four grounds – Barbados, Guyana, St.Lucia and St.Kitts & Nevis. The tournament will be organised in parallel with the women's tournament, with the men's semi-finals and final being preceded by the semi-finals and final from the women's event.

The first round is in four groups, with two teams from each group moving to Super 8. The Super 8s consist of two groups, Group E and Group F. Group E will consist of A1, B2, C1, D2 and Group F will consist of A2, B1, C2, D1, where X1 is the first seed from Group X and X2 is the second seed from Group X. The seedings are based on performance in the last ICC T20 (2007). If a non-seeded team knocks out a seeded team, the non-seeded team inherits the seed of the team it knocked out.

India has named its squad for the event : M.S. Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Vinay Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Piyush Chawla.
With many picking themselves, there was not much for speculation. Rohit should feel lucky to be ahead of Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Saurabh Tiwari and others who have performed in this version. Nehra comes back ahead of Ishant, RP Singh, Sreesanth, Munaf, Sudip Tyagi.

Ranganath Vinay Kumar born in Davangere on 12/2/1984 shot into limelight in a recent IPL match against Mumbai Indians when he removed Sachin, Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu in one over to tide the game clearly in RC way.


When it comes to IPL everything is at a premium and every little space is marketed. Here is a case of something more. Marketing something over the space also.

These inflated balloons are known as ‘blimps; MRF is the official blimp sponsor of IPL 2010, and will put the MRF Blimp on display during matches at Mumbai, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Bangalore and Cuttack. The blimp is 19m long, has a diameter of seven metre, contains up to 400 cubic metre of pure helium when filled. The blimp can be raised to a maximum height of 300m. Once in the air at 300m height, the blimp can withstand wind velocity of up to 40 knots during a storm. Unlike traditional blimps, which are engine driven and contain a gondola for passengers, the MRF Blimp is a tethered blimp, which is stationary and fixed to a mooring trailer on the ground. A blimp unit is manned by four operators.

Technically, the term blimp would refer only free-flying aircraft but commercially they are used to tethered or moored balloons also. The word is reportedly onomatopoeic, coming from the sound the airship makes when one taps the balloon with a finger, though there is disagreement on this. A report has it that this is one of the most expensive on ground ad space. There are unconventional ways of marketing – I for one fail to understand how this is going to attract the viewer into becoming a customer for the product but those spending crores would certainly know better.

Now, the sixers or catches have a sponsor tag to them mentioned diligently by the TV commentator and cameras zoom to ad boards and blimps without fail.

As you might know, MRF started as a toy balloon manufacturer in 1946 and has grown to become leading tyre maker and blimps are just right to them.

With regards – S Sampathkumar.

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