Willow it high, oh Money Honey!

Global business analysts may talk about crude oil, diamonds and sensex, my topic of discussion is IPL Cricket as a recent international business situation. Professor Stefan Szymanski, a sports economist, refers to the IPL as ‘An Unscripted Soap Opera’ in The Business World.

With Bollywood pretty faces putting half their bank balances behind this bat-‘n-ball saga, and cheerleaders distracting the fielders at the boundaries (no pun intended), IPL is one of the best business strategies seen so far for the franchisers and the broadcasters. The millions of dollars that have been spent on the IPL over the last four years have no count. Thousands of supporters book their tickets well in advance, hundreds of companies book their advertisement slots and Bollywood celebrities scribble on their cheque books. Cricketers from all over the world get divided into teams and the money honey willow game begins.

Karbonn Mobile awards Rupees one lakh to the player who takes the best catch. Throughout the IPL season the cricketers do so many advertisements, starting from Official partner Kingfisher soda to men’s fairness creams. From Brett Lee’s bullet-balls to Sachin’s sixes and from Malinga’s golden curls to Siddharth Mallya-Deepika kiss in the galleries, it is all-in-all the Infinite Performance League (IPL)!

This year in IPL Season 4, news was that Saurav Ganguly is playing for Pune Warriors. Inside news says the former Kolkata Knight Riders captain demanded rupees four crore but finally signed on for rupees 85 lakhs. The former Indian team captain played three matches and scored less than sixty runs in total.

Another entertaining part of the IPl is when commentator Navjot Singh Sidhhu starts talking. With his turban perfectly matching the colour of his tie, and quiet Arun Lal by his side, he blabbers his way to glory.

Coming back to the money part, Lalit Modi had told the bidders how much money to put in the auction. At the end of the money honey game, the two new teams were won by Sahara Adventure Sports Group and Rendezvous Sports World Limited, who bid a staggering $370 million and $333 million respectively. The count of the amount doesn’t remain within INR but goes into millions of dollars.

IPL is one of India’s biggest business investments so far in the sports field. From Red Chillies Entertainment to Reliance Industries, all are here to grab a piece of this lucrative pie. IPL is a business of big people and big bucks. Set MAX channel has truly made its audience say “Deewana banaa de” and IPL has made millions get glued to their screens for over two months. Money was in the air in the IPl, all the players had to do is learn the right technique to catch it. Every ball was money, every stroke was an investment.

The business done and over four times, now only the coming years can say that IPL will flourish or succumb in its own craze. There are still millions of dollars and sponsors kept safe for IPL’s next season, only that the businessmen don’t get bowled out.

Aryani Banerjee