The IPL season (6th edition) is now well underway. Most of the teams have now played a handful of their initial matches. IPL is said to be the most money rich cricket league. I must admit that I have no idea about the finance of different cricket leagues all over the world. But what I know is that one of the teams in IPL has been recognized as a global sports brand.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has been the most successful team on the pitch in the first five seasons, with two victories and even one more appearance in the final. This team has done a lot to differentiate it from the other teams, and to build a brand. They are the only team playing in yellow, while so many other teams play in some way of blue. CSK has also managed to be a team for the whole region and for all Tamils living abroad. Their team song “Whistle Podu” has been extremely popular and fans from all over the world join into performing it, like these people in San Francisco.
One challenge in running an IPL team is that the season is only for a month and a half. CSK have taken a number of initiatives in order to be a brand for the whole year. In addition to host a number of cricket tournaments in Tamil Nadu they also plan to send the team to play matches in North America and Dubai (why not Norway?) where many Indians live.
CSK are also doing promotion activities for other sports like chess, snooker, tennis and badminton. All of this to build an even bigger brand. With the upcoming chess world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand to be played in Chennai later this year it is another opportunity for CSK and Chennai to show up as a sports city and to even further build their brand.
As a follower of some of the staff and players of CSK on Twitter it is fantastic nice to see all the updates they come up with quite regularly. Not strange that CSK is the most in IPL in social media!
I remember some years back when the marketing director of Matchester United was on a trip to the Amazonas. There he watched a local kid wearing a cap from the American baseball team San Francisco 49’ers. This was when he decided that his football team should be the biggest brand value in the world of sport. And we have to admit that they have succeeded. What Chennai Super Kings do now is some of the same.
Talk to you soon