Media Monday: How much for a Brand?
For a country where Cricket is worshipped, how much one can tolerate the nuisance of an entity which is taking every authority for granted just in the name of Cricket? Yes, I’m talking of IPL here. IPL has been in news for all wrong reasons this year and you need not to blame anyone but IPL itself for creating all this fuss! First it was the big controversy where not a single Franchise picked any Pakistani player.
It became worse when Lalit Modi took an adamant stance of not owing any explanation to anyone. We still don’t know why that incident took place and then why Shahrukh chose to spoke otherwise (may be another publicity stunt)? But my post is more about taking all this from a moral point of view. May be we can learn some business lessons here-
1. How to build a Brand out of nothing
What is IPL? It’s not a product, nor a commodity, neither a piece of Code. IPL is nothing but a concept which became bigger than expected simply because it combined two of the biggest phenomena in India- Cricket and Bollywood. Then it used shear muscle power to rip off the original ICL concept and came out as a money making machine for everyone associated with it and specially for Media. Media is the sole reason why IPL brand became bigger than ‘Cricket’ in India. The lesson is- if you can make money for Media, you need not to worry about branding, it will happen naturally.
2. Utilizing ‘only’ Brand to make money
Be it the sponsors, Franchises, owners, players, stadiums or advertisers, everyone is making money from IPL. No one understands how IPL generates that kind of money for almost everyone using just a Brand.
3. Why every business need competitors-
IPL as a brand is no doubt mighty (2 Billion Dollars in valuation), and the kind of fame it’s owners (read Lalit Modi) have seen has made them egotist. Here are few reasons why I’m saying so: Decision of not organizing any matches in Andhra in response to the Telangana agitation, creating huge outrage in Hyderabad. Introducing tough guidelines for Broadcasting IPL telecasts and footages on Television. Though there might be some valid reasons for taking such decisions but the way they take up all these issues is really not professional. Monopoly can be bad and can cause serious harm to anyone who makes even a single mistake (Ravindra Jadeja is a good example), but then who is making the rules here?
4. Brands can be evil
No one ever thought of Microsoft as an ‘Evil’ brand until Google launched the iconic “Don’t be Evil” caption for its own Brand. It worked magically and Google used Microsoft Brand’s defamation to its own advantage. You agree or not IPL is also creating a brand image similar to that of Microsoft. It is trying too much to generate money (can you imagine Vodafone is spending close to 100 Crores in sponsorship). And IPL owners are selling rights for almost everything which is related to Cricket- right from the tickets (which will carry team names on one side and sponsors name on other side) to banners inside stadium (No. You can’t take your homemade charts) to vendors to God knows what. I wonder if they are also selling rights for Public conveniences!
Days may not be far when we can see some IPL competitors on the board. But right now it looks really difficult, with the kind of hold Lalit Modi is having on Politicians and Media.
What is your take on this? Don’t you think we need some competitors to curb this monopoly?