The Indian Premier League (IPL) is no less than a grand scale Indian wedding, full of glitz and glamour attracting global eyeballs.
Just like the big-fat weddings, those who work behind the scenes look at things rather differently, as a herculean challenge that awaits them over a course of time.
So what is exactly to stage an IPL match, what all goes behind the scenes, let’s try and find out more.
Blending sports with entertainment value to make a new intoxicating concoction, the IPL has succeeded to catch the pulse of Indian viewers-smitten by its grandeur. Despite facing several hurdles over the years, the cash-rich tournament not only survived in its form but has also grown in stature to a point where even the overseas players are longing for IPL contracts more than playing for their country.
The euphoria around the league can only be measured by the fact that events like players’ auctions attracted 8.1 million viewers last year. One has to acknowledge, the IPL has done some things right!
The IPL sphere
The era of ‘cricketainment’ began with big-ticket franchises like Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore tipped to vie for the coveted trophy. Cricket-crazy Indian fans quickly resonated to the idea of regional teams, giving a more personal feel to the league.
However, to put a big cricket party of this stature together, a lot of hard work goes into the project as a franchise starts work months in advance. The to-do list for the season is quite long: From importing Kookaburra balls to booking flights and hotels in line with the fixtures list, arrange for team meeting rooms and chalk out practice sessions considering the players’ fatigue, arrange for team-kits and training kits-are just some of the things a franchise needs to plan in advance.
To add to that, the talent hunt, the sound business acumen, brand management are just some of the aspects that make the extravagant event a great success. At IPL games, usually, a franchise caters food to around 5,000 people in its hospitality boxes, who pay high bucks to catch the best of the action from close proximity. It takes pinpoint planning to handle the catering and all that comes with it.
Off the field-a high scale of stadium production, the minute-wise precision of the broadcast crew, the crucial dynamic between the team management and captain are just a few of the facets that make IPL such an interesting case-study for management students.
Additionally, for match-day traffic control-the support of local police machinery is essential. On average there are around 3,000 police personnel deployed to create a safe environment for every match.
IPL support staff
But IPL was never about players alone. Apart from the celebrity team-owners, the highly-skilled event management team-who make sure everything is in place- are just like sous chefs putting the right ingredients on the plate. In fact, a whole ecosystem works behind the scene which enables smooth functioning of an IPL game.
Good coaches, managers, physios, match officials, referees and administrators, commentators, analysts are just some of the key factors who help create a beautiful melange of work cultures.
Owing to great use of technology, IPL has become the watering hole for merchandisers, brand management team, sports education industry and many other business activities that have looked at IPL as a great module to get connected to masses.
The biggest source of income from the IPL firmly remains sponsorship. Around 65% of the season’s income is generated from sponsors, with gate-revenue, in-stadia merchandise sales making up for the rest. Considered by many a gamut or melting pots of many good things, the IPL has succeeded in providing great infrastructure, a pool of young, hungry and promising cricketers.
With broadcast rights, central sponsorships, the IPL has taken Indian cricket’s financial health to the richest cricket body in the world. But more significantly, its contribution to Indian cricket is far more than what has been acknowledged for.
Ranked fifth most attended league in the world, the brand value of the IPL has soared to $7.5 billion. Amidst the glitz, glamour and entertainment there’s organised chaos that enthrals this cricket crazy country!
The wagers for the upcoming IPL matches can be placed here.