As India moves ahead of the World Cup frenzy and puts the defeat against Australia at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 semi-final behind it, cricket fans across the nation look forward to the Indian Premier League 2015 commencing on April 9. But so far a lukewarm response has been seen ahead of eight edition of the IPL amidst controversies and bans.
The world cup season saw the emergence of successful and engaging marketing campaigns such as Mauka Mauka, Won’t Give It Back, Bleed Blue, and Yeh Game Hain Taste Ka. And the same trending on social media through the World Cup season and I am sure that the 46-day long extravaganza of IPL is all set to lure the Indian fan base but it seems as if the wounds of the World Cup exit have not healed completely.
But what is going to set this IPL different for the other seven? Well..that is fervour around the ‘fanparks’ that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is going to open across 15 cities in India. The fanparks are not aimed at hosting any of the cricket matches but will feature the matches on large screen for excited fans who couldn’t make it to the stadium.
The concept of fanpark is not maiden to the sporting circuit but it will be seen making headways in the Indian sports society for the first time. We have seen it prevalent at grand-slam tennis events such as Wimbledon and Australian Open where fans enjoy the stadium-like atmosphere with others.
This may also come to the rescue of falling viewership of IPL with each subsequent season. Further, the stadium-like environment will be a breath of fresh air for fans who have not been able to enjoy the matches at the stadium and were restricted to the sports bars.
Let’s see how different market players leverage this opportunity but it sure is going to be a boon for cricket fans in India as Pepsi fanparks will certainly transform the viewing experience this IPL season.
I am looking forward to the first leg of IPL Season 8 which will kickstart on Thursday and I am hoping that it will garner more interest next week as marketers and advertisers will closely track the viewership and fanfare, and the subsequent marketing opportunities in the space.