Brand CSK

Hi Everyone

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 pic

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

Karsten

Differences in religious monuments in Norway and India

Hi Everyone

Last weekend, I did what most Norwegians like to do when the autumn is on its way and it starts to get cold; I went to do some trekking in the mountains.

On the way to our cabin we passed one of the most famous churches in Norway; Heddal Stavkyrkje. I can easily admit that religion is not my biggest interest, but I do think it is a bit interesting to compare different religious monuments from different times and religions. So when we stopped at this church, I got to think about the different churches and religious monuments that I have seen in India. The one that obviously came to my mind was Taj Mahal, and I will write more about that later. But it also strikes me that Hinduism doesn’t really have a lot of those huge monuments. And to be clear; this is not something I say out of disrespect to the Hinduism, maybe rather the opposite.

In the area where I used to live in Mumbai, there were a lot of mosques, which is off course not at all any Hinduism monuments, but rather Muslim. There is one temple for the Hindu God of Hanuman close to my former home, but even that one is quite small compared to the mosques that were around in that area. And yes, I have also been to some of the Hindu temples in places like Rishikesh. And in Chennai there were quite a few Hindu temples. In Mumbai I think the biggest Hindu temples are for the God Krishna (please correct me if I’m wrong). And during the Ganesh festival there are off course a lot of Ganesh Idols placed in mandals all around the city. But these are not really temples. And the same is the case during Navratri and Durga Poja. There are a lot of idols placed around in the city, but most of them are on open areas and removed after the festival is over.

So let me tell you more about the Stavkyrkje (stave church). The church we visited is about 800 years old, which makes it quite a bit older than for example Taj Mahal. It is said that the church was built by only five (5, not kidding) farmers! At that time around 1200 it was quite common to build churches in this way, by wood. This in itself is a big difference in how buildings are built in Norway and in India in general. Norway is recognized as a mostly Christian protestant country, which means that most of the religious building here are churches and not mosques or temples.

Taj Mahal at the other hand was built between 1631 and 1653. This is recognized as one of the finest examples of Mogul architecture. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan (I mean; it was ordered by him, I don’t think he did much himself). Due to the sheer size and the number of years it took to build it, I think it is quite obvious that it was more than five people involved in the building process. It was constructed in memory of his favorite wife Arjumand Banu Begum. Taj Mahal is now on the UNESCO list of world heritages and it is also recognized as one of the modern wonders of the world. There is also one stave church on this list, but that is not the one in Heddal, but Urnes Stavkirke.

If you have a chance, I can absolute recommend a visit to any of these places.

Thanks a lot!

Talk to you soon!

Karsten

Is there a new cricket God?

Hi Everyone

Off course I have written about cricket a number of times at this blog, including my explanation of the cricket rules in an easy way for the novices, like say, Norwegians. Today it just has to be another blog post about cricket. The T20 world cup is about to start soon. That’s all nice and good, and we all remember how the latest world cup ended don’t we?

India have had a number of great cricket players over the years, like “the Indian wall” Rahul Dravid, the God of cricket Sachin Tendulkar and the flamboyant current captain of India (and Chennai Super Kings) M S Dhoni. But right now I think there is no doubt that the most popular cricket player in India is Yuvraj Singh, a 30 year old player from Chandigarh in Punjab.

Why is it so? Ok. Fine. Yuvraj is a very good cricket player. He was part of the Indian team that won the world cup in 2011 and even chosen as man of the tournament at the world cup. But less than a year after the world cup he had to fight his toughest match, or rather fight, ever. In March 2012 Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancerous tumor in his left lung. This off course meant that he missed the whole IPL of 2012 and his whole cricket career was in danger. To make a longer story short; that fight is now over and Yuvraj is back on the cricket field! He was supposed to play his first match for India against New Zealand at the 8th of August, but in good cricket style, that match was <a href = ” http://www.bcci.tv/bcci/bccitv/index/viewarticle?article=504b67b5a1f49-match-report-ind-v-nz-1st-t20i.html”abandoned due to rain. So what is more fitting that Yuvraj will make his long awaited return to cricket at cricket crazy Chennai today? The match is now only a few hours away. I will not guess about the outcome, but well, we can off course hope for an epic match and maybe Yuvraj will once again clinch the man of the match award?

And there is actually more to Yuvraj than just cricket. He run his very own foundation, Yuvraj Singh Foundation who help people get back up in life and give them the chance to relive it by fulfilling their aspirations, hopes & dreams. This organization helps both individuals and organizations who might not have it as good as they could.

After he got diagnosed with cancer, Yuvraj Singh Foundation put up another initiative; Youwecan. Through that initiative he will create consciousness on cancer prevention, early detection & fight against Stigma. I would recommend that you all enter this page and read more about this noble cause.

And today I’m sure everyone at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium will scream his name once again: “Yu-vi, Yu-vi”!

Match update: And off course the match ends in drama! New Zealand puts up 167 in their innings, which is a quite decent total. India however doesn’t plan to give up without a fight. With only 8 balls to go it look though for India but the Yuvraj Singh hits a six! This means that India now need 13 runs from their last over, which is absolutely doable when you have Singh and MS Dhoni as batsmen (or batting vallahs as I say it very incorrectly). But then only four balls later James Franklin, who actually plays for Mumbai Indians get Singh out! It’s up to Dhoni and the new batting vallah Rohit Sharma to make the five needed runs in the last two balls. They only manage four, which means that India looses the match with just one run. What a drama!

Talk to you soon!

Karsten