Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1216
, Published on 27 January 2015
With the news of Michael Chopra joining the Sachin Tendulkar’s ISL team buzzing around all the news papers, the all new India Super League (ISL) entered its next phase in reaching its customers both the existing football fans and the yet to be.
ISL is different from the earlier versions of domestic football leagues in so many ways!
Firstly, ISL got some international star players (49 international players announced so far). Well, the I-league also has international players. But ISL scores high in this by picking up some of yesteryear star players that would stir the interest of Indian fans of European leagues.
Image Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net, Naypong
Second, all teams represents region, city or state. All the previously held football tournaments in India used to represent the some club or companies whose names failed to create some spirit among the audience. But ISL represent the teams with the strong base and connection with region, city or state. This regional representation is the main reason for earth shattering success of IPL also.
Third, Stars from Bollywood and Cricket being the co-owners of most of the ISL teams becomes the natural brand ambassadors for their teams. E.g. Kerala Blasters –Sachin Tendulkar, Athletico de Kolkata- Saurav Ganguly, Mumbai City FC – Ranbir Kapoor, North East United- John Abraham, FC Pune City- Salman Khan.
All these together are expected to revolutionise the Indian football and the business involved. Not to forget the only common thing between the earlier football leagues like I-league and ISL is the ownership of teams by the corporate giants. At the end of the day its going to be a brand building of Game, Team and the Corporate giants generating hundreds of crores in return. That’s why ISL should be given more significance in the Indian Business.
Earlier, ISL is IMG-Reliance initiative by the 15 year deal with AIFF. There were conflicts between owners of I-league clubs and AIFF because of this deal. They formed Indian Professional Football Clubs Association against Reliance-IMG. Finally IMG-Reliance cleared all the legal hurdles put forth by the owners of I-league clubs.
Let we see what efforts have been taken so far to ensure the grand success of ISL. Kolkata being the berth for football in all its history got Athletico Madrid, a Spanish professional football club based in Madrid that plays in La Liga as its co-owner. Athletico de Kolkata players are about to undergo a full month training in Spain with world class facility. They are also playing 4 friendly matches there. This makes Kolkata team the most expected one for the upcoming season. Inter – Milan, an Italian football club is said to be behind the lastly formed Chennai team. Most of the coaches appointed had loads of experience in European football leagues. With these like International exposure and training, we can audience can expect the world class matches in ISL. That will lead to the creation of new market based on ISL and football with football fans as strong customer base
IPL is successful. We can’t say ISL is inspired from IPL. But surely it gave the hope to corporate giants to come up with ISL. Not only ISL, but similar tournaments were started for Badminton, Kabbadi after IPL. So the formula is same and is proved to be successful.
Indians are great fans of European Football leagues, so they will surely watch ISL if it comes little closer to the quality of European leagues.
The recently concluded 2014 FIFA world cup would increased the football interest among Indians those who don’t follow European leagues also.
Against all these positive situations, Indians are always un-predictable. On the same period of October-December, West Indies Cricket team is touring India. We can’t surely say Indians will prefer to watch ISL football matches over the Cricket matches even though god of cricket will be appearing in the football stadium.
We have to wait and see till the very first season kick starts to witness the corporate giants and football mutually building their brand with the help of Bollywood and Cricket Stars.
This article has been authored by Prakash A from PSG Institute of Management