Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

For people who don’t know IPL, IPL is today’s money making machine in the sports arena. IPL aka Indian Premier League is the largest sports (cricket) entertainment in terms of money and entertainment. Now, the idea of IPL is not new. It exists in various forms of other games like basketball (NBA), soccer, football (NFA) and many more. So, what makes IPL the most popular game.

  • Cricket: Cricket is one of the craziest games of many countries especially in Asia. Go to any nook and corner of the countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and you will find kids and people playing cricket with a bat and ball. Very few them make it to the playing 11 of the team but to be 11, is like a dream come true for anyone. In India, cricketers and film stars are like demi-gods. If one legend dies, the whole country goes down in no time. If India gives one bad performance in a cricket match, the effigies are burnt. One would be surprise to know that we have temples to worship cricketers and film stars. Moreover, IPL paved the way for shortest version of cricket games: 20-over bringing the excitement right onto the audience
  • Entertainment: Cheer-leading has never been a profession earlier in India but it is one now. How can someone forget the Knight Riders’ team Cheer-leading Reality Show. Additionally, not to forget the eminent filmstars associated with IPL: Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and many more. Not to forget how dozens more flock around during the matches to promote themselves and their movies.

The marriage of above two fields. Cricket and Entertainment was deadly and that drove the whole nation crazy. Of course, one might say the business model is not new. There is nothing innovative. Of course, yes. I do agree but then no one introduced the concept better than IPL. And let us accept the fact: almost all our business models are the borrowed concepts from abroad: well tested and proven because we, Indians,  (most of us) are not risk-takers by nature.

Today, IPL has emerged as the biggest and largest money spinner in its genre in the sports domain surpassing all NBA and NFL. Last year, its brand value was estimated to be $4.13 Bn and with the addition of two new franchisees, it is going to be more this year. Let us look at the some of the auction highlights of this year:

  • A total of 127 players were sold in the two-day auction at the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bangalore, while 12 players were originally retained by the franchises ahead of the auction.
  • Deccan Chargers have 14 players, spending $6,875,000 and keeping $2,125,000 still to spend. Dale Steyn ($1.2 mn) and Cameron White ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players for the team.
  • Kolkata Knight Riders have 12 players, spending $8,575,000 and keeping $425, 000 still to spend. Gautam Gambhir ($2.4 mn) and Yusuf Pathan ($2.1 mn) were star cricketers.
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore have 16 players, spending $8,640, 000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Saurabh Tiwary ($1.6 mn) and AB de Villiers ($1.1 mn) were top fetchers.
  • Mumbai Indians have 12 players, spending $8,520,000 and keeping $480,000 still to spend. Rohit Sharma ($2 mn) and Andrew Symonds ($850,000) rocked the table for Mumbai Indians.
  • Sahara Pune Warriors, the new franchise, have 14 players, spending $8,070,000 and keeping $930,000 still to spend. Robin Utthappa ($2.1 mn) and Yuvraj Singh ($1.8 mn) were their prized possessions.
  • Team Kochi, another new franchise, have 17 players, spending $8,640,000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Mahela Jayawardhane ($1.5 mn) and Muttiah Muralitharan ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players.
  • Delhi Daredevils have 17 players, spending $8,250,000 and keeping $750,00 still to spend. Irphan Pathan ($1.9 mn), David Warner ($750,000) and Umesh Yadav ($750,000) were star cricketers bought.
  • Chennai Super Kings have 18 players, spending $8,615,000 and keeping $385,000 in pocket. R Ashwin ($850,000) and S Badrinath ($800,000) were top fetchers.
  • Rajasthan Royals have 8 players, spending $6,195,000 and keeping $805,000 in pocket. Ross Taylor ($ 1 mn) and Johan Botha ($950,000) emptied their suitcase.
  • Kings XI Punjab have 11 players, spending $6, 945, 000 and keeping $2,005,000 in pocket. David Hussey ($1.4 mn), Adam Gilchrist ($900,000), Piyush Chawla ($900,000), Dinesh Karthik ($900,000) were their prized possessions.
  • Rajasthan Royals were allotted budget of $7 million because of Bombay High court order.
  • Koklkata Knight Riders were constantly on the news: for picking up Gautam Gambhir for a record money and then not taking the star player of the region and former Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly.
  • Saurav Ganguly, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle went unsold. More than Brian Lara, this IPL auction put a BIG DOT on the cricketing career of one of the most successful Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly. Media left no time to make a fuss about the situation and broke hell on Dada. Most surprisingly, can Kolkata Knight Rider play without Saurav Ganguly in the player’s hometown itself? I guess yes, because this is India and lets be honest, we take few seconds to make a star and few seconds to bring someone to ashes.
  • The another aspect of auction side of KKR is: If I am not wrong, they are the only team to have broke even and into the profits. Don’t forget that they have never qualified for the semi-finals and have been one of the worst performers in the league. The credit goes to the King Khan of Bollywood, their franchise owner, Shahrukh Khan. Personally, I don’t like him or his acting but I love his presence of mind and his sheer attitude and marketing skills inspire me a lot. Remember, those xxx energy drink or the cheer-leading Reality show, SRK rocked the IPL with his own presence. SO, why KKR needs to play when both franchise owners and players are happy earning money without winning matches.
  • Personally, I feel Team Kochi made intelligent buys and did not put in money anywhere where the stake was too high. A lesson well learned from the Deccan Chargers from the past.
  • Anil Kimble made a smart move by opting himself out of the auction at the right time. Prestige and honor kept intact and he also got to mentor the Bangalore Royal Challengers.
  • Rahul Dravid, another star player of Indian Cricket team, just escaped the fate of Saurav Ganguly when he was picked up but it is a YELLOW light for Dravid. Be careful for the next auction.
  • Youngsters from India and abroad made the most out of this auction. A lot of unknown names got picked up over well known names: a very good positive sign. I am a strong believer in the power of fresh blood and Ia m sure some of them are going to make their dream run this IPL. Best of Luck to all of them!!!
  • Last year, IPL debuted on youtube, live streaming all matches. I expect this year they should live tweet also ūüôā
  • IPL3 also debuted on movie¬†theaters, showing the IPL matches live in the multiplexes. So, I guess you can grab your popcorn this year too.

IPL4 is going to have more matches and it is going to get bigger and better. I have always been a strong fan of Mumbai Indians and I am going to stick to my team this year too. Who will win IPL4? What do you think?

Just sit back, relax, get your popcorn and enjoy!!! For me, I am more interested in knowing the facts and success of both IPL4 and Cricket World Cup and we will try to bring you a post-tournament report. I am curious to co a sided-by-side analysis of the two biggest cricketing events of the year. Are you anxious? Do check back that time…

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This is an awesome article and I just love it even though I read it a lot of time earlier too. Thanks to Times of India for this great article.

Bob Richards, the former pole-vault champion, shares a moving story about a skinny young boy who loved football. Practice after practice, he eagerly gave everything he had. But being half the size of the other boys, he got absolutely nowhere. At all the games, this hopeful athlete sat on the bench and hardly ever got to play.

The teenager lived alone with his father, and the two of them had a very special relationship. Even though the son was always on the bench, his father was always in the stands cheering. He never missed a game. The lad was still the smallest of the class when he entered high school. But his father continued to encourage him; he also made it very clear that he did not have to play football if he didn’t want to. The determined young man decided to hang in there… who knows, perhaps he’d get to play when he became a senior. All through high school he never missed a practice nor game but remained a bench-warmer all four years. His faithful father was always in the stands, always with words of encouragement for him.¬†

When the young man went to college, he decided to try out for the football team as a “walk-on”. Everyone was sure he could never make the cut, but he did. The coach¬†admitted that he kept him on the roster because he always puts his heart and soul to every practice, and at the same time, provided the other members with the spirit and hustle they badly needed. The news that he had survived the cut thrilled him so much that he rushed to the nearest phone and called his father. His father shared his excitement and was sent season tickets for all the college games.

The persistent young athlete never missed practice during his four years at college, but he never got to play in a game. It was the end of his senior football season, and as he trotted onto the practice field shortly before the big playoff game, the coach met him with a telegram.

The young man read the telegram and he became deathly silent. Swallowing hard, he mumbled to the coach, “My father died this morning. Is it all right if i miss practice today?” The coach put his arm gently around his shoulder and said, “Take the rest of the week off, son. And don’t even plan to come back to the game on Saturday.” Saturday arrived, and the game was not going well. In the third quarter, when the team was 10 points behind, a young man quietly slipped into the empty locker room and put on his football gear. As he ran onto the sidelines, the coach and his players were astounded to see their faithful teammate back so soon. “Coach, please let me play. I’ve just got to play today,” said the young man. There was no way the coach wanted his worst player in this close playoff game. But the young man persisted, and finally feeling sorry for the kid, the coach gave in. “All right,” he said. “You can go in.”

Before long, the coach, the players and everyone in the stands could not believe their eyes. This little unknown, who had never played before was doing everything right. The opposing team could not stop him. He ran, he passed, blocked, and tackled like a star. His team began to triumph. The score was soon tied. In the closing seconds of the game, this kid intercepted a pass and ran all the way for the winning touchdown.

The fans broke loose. His teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders. Such cheering you never heard. Finally, after the stands had emptied and the team had showered and left the locker room, the coach noticed that this young man was sitting quietly in the corner all alone. The coach came to him and said, “Kid, I can’t believe it. You were fantastic! Tell me what got into you? How did you do it?” He looked at the coach, with tears in his eyes, and said, “Well, you knew my dad died, but did you know that my dad was blind?” The young man swallowed hard and forced a smile, “Dad came to all my games, but today was the first time he could see me play, and I wanted to show him i could do it!”

Like the athlete’s father, God is always there cheering for us. He’s always reminding us to go on. He’s even offering us his hand for he knows what is best, and is willing to give us what we need and not simply what we want. God has never missed a single¬†game. What a joy to know that life is meaningful if lived for the highest. Live for him for He’s watching us in the game of life. ¬†

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Well, even I joined the guys when Indian cricket team won the T20 World Cup and celebration is much fair right throughout the country. But question that has to put forward is: Chak de India-Was it all bout only CRICKET? or in general, only sports.
Yesterday, our Hockey guys decided to go on for a strike against the discrimination of the hockey players with cricket players. You can read the article here. Hockey being the national sports should be our first priority. But it is very sad that we ignore our these national heroes. In fact, anybody who represent India on the global arena, has a great responsibility and if they did achieve somethings, its worthy of getting the honor. Then, why is this discrimination when cricket players getting huge monetary benefits from the state governments and ignoring the hockey players all together. And in between this, we again ignored the Soccer players, who won the ONGC Nehru Cup beating Syria 1-0. you can read the article here. In fact, why is this step-motherly attitude towards the Hockey and Soccer players when countries like USA, Korea and China. The biggest answer should be given by Sahara, who is the official sponsor of both Indian Cricket and Hockey team and it gave houses to every cricketer and nothing to the hockey players. The advertisement should also shift to the other sports other than Cricket.
I feel this contributes a lot to the fact that we struggle to get a single Gold Medal in the Olympics being the second largest population country of the world. In fact, I feel we, as an Indian, should change our attitude. We stoned the houses of Dhoni, Yuvraj and others when India exited the World Cup and after six months we are carrying them on top. We need to change ourselves.
I would like to end here with a simple question to Shahrukh Khan, who took his son to the T20 Cricket Final: “Would you take your son to a hockey final or soccer final if Indian would be playing that?“(Are you listening Shahrukh).

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Chak Diya India…

Team India won the first T20 World Cup beating arch-rivals Pakistan yesterday. It was a great match worthy of watching and in fact one of the proudest moments for the Indians for all around the globe. The biggest achievement of this world cup is the complete Indian team is young and they are the people who believed in themselves and they gave enough proofs of this right from the match against South Africa to Australia to Pakistan. I too believe strongly in what Dhoni said at the end of the match “I think the guys think they can win and they did it”. Individuals can create milestones but teams can create HISTORY. We did not have the three pillars of the present Indian Cricket-Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly but still we did it due to some great team performance.
I watched the match at my office and I enjoyed every moment of it with all my 100-200 odd colleagues around. We jumped, screamed and shouted with the every fall of the Pakistan;’s wicket. This became my one of the memorable moments of my life.

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Well, guys we have a real hero in “Mir Ranjan Negi“, the character of whom, was played by SRK in the recent blockbuster movie “Chak de India”. Its a privilege to know such people and it requires a lot of courage to be a real WINNER. So, here is a small article on him from Rediff.com:

Shah Rukh Khan is reaping the rewards of playing it differently.

At a time, when the nation seems gripped by cricket, the actor has chosen to play coach of an Indian women’s hockey team in the just-released Chak De! India.

A story of shame, disillusionment, and glory at last, has hit the right note critically. A tale of how we forget our heroes and continue to condemn accidentally-perceived villains.

It belongs to a soft-spoken man from Indore, who was sentenced to 16 years of misery and national censure only because he chose not to speak.

Pakistan beat India 7-1 in the final of the 1982 Asian Games. The blame for the collective loss came on one man — Mir Ranjan Negi.

For a nation looking to make sense, the shocking result, after India started as favourites, the most damning thought took root. Someone raised his hand, pointed a finger at Negi and labelled him a traitor.

‘He was offered one lakh for every goal he let in,’ said the Hindi edition of the now defunct newspaper Blitz, concluding that the Indian goalkeeper sold himself for seven lakh rupees.

There was no defence from Negi. His teammates, though Negi assures, stood by him, did not defend him either. The Indian hockey Federation, embarrassed by the whole situation, dropped the goalkeeper like a hot potato. The allegations were thus justified.

“Wherever I went people used to say, ‘Oh! you are the one who took money’,” recalls Negi.

He never again wore the India colours. His house was attacked. Mid-way through his wedding ceremony in Indore, power was cut-off and the rest of the function took place in darkness.

“I cannot tell you what I went through at that time. I was scared to go out of my house. I grew a beard so that people would not recognise me. My relatives would take me around and introduce me as a national goalkeeper, they did it all innocently not knowing how much it hurt me.”

But the soft-spoken man lived with that hurt for 16 years, never once abandoning the game that was the cause of his downfall.

Then, one day, came a reprise came in the form of an offer to coach the Indian goalkeepers for the 1998 Asian Games. As fate would have it, India won the men’s gold after beating South Korea via the penalty shoot-out. Ashish Ballal, who was not in the goalkeepers’ camp and who had been brought in on Negi’s insistence, emerged hero.

Negi then went on to help the women’s hockey team win the gold medal in 2003 Afro-Asian Games.

But, still, none of all this success vindicated him more than the movie Chak De! India has.

After facing the fury of the nation, none could have moved the country more than a film, India’s biggest mass medium, on Negi’s despair and eventual triumph.

“But I don’t think the movie covers even 10 per cent of what I went through,” says Negi, who not only coached the hockey players to help them play their part to perfection, but helped the filmmakers with visualising and making the story-boards.

Even so, “It is Shah Rukh Khan’s film,” he insists. “I don’t want to be a hero.”

Courtesy: rediff.com

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Well, as I was going through the newspaper, TIMES OF INDIA, after the India-SriLanka Match on last Friday, with SriLanka winning the match and India, virtually out of the World not qualifying the preliminary group matches too. It was a heart-broken day for the whole India, where Cricket is played at every gully and Cricketers are demi-GODs. It is a shame for the star-studded Team India not to make it to the Super-Eight round also. But as I was going through the analysis of the match and Team India’s performance, I cam across some startling facts and numbers, which got affected as India were thrown out of the World Cup eventually with Bangladesh eventually winning their last group match yesterday and qualifying for the Super-Eight.

Let us go through some of these numbers:

1. Currenlty, advertisers pump in anywhere between Rs. 5500 crores to Rs. 6000 crores on TV. Of this, cricket accounts for Rs. 550-600 crores. During the World Cup, this number jumped to 750 crores.
2. Each World Cup sponsor brings in anything bewteen Rs. 60 croores and Rs. 70 crores.
3. Associate Sponsors bring in another Rs. 20-30 crores each during the World Cup.
4. 6-8 of the top advertisers were expected to spend another Rs. 15-18 crores each.
5. Other big advertisers had budgeted to spend 10-15 crores each.
6. Each of the spot buys is priced at Rs. 1.5 lakhs each for 10 seconds.

Now some startling facts and numbers that has surfaced after India failed to qualify for the Super-Eight:

1. Many advertisers are now asking TV channels to shift their spots out of World Cup matches to popular soap operas. Some are planning to reduce their spends on the remaining matches by as much as 30%. Microsoft was to launch a game for their XBox 360 on March 27 featuring Yuvraj Singh. Nike had a confident India campaign, Visa with a promo that included Shankar, Ehsan and Loy singing a song composed for World Cup. ITC Foods had launched a biscuit featuring Sachin.Main Sponsor Pepsi had World Cup ‘Gold’ cola. LG and Hero Honda were finalising new campaigns. Sansui had already launched an ad with Rahul dravid and another one was on the cards. Videocon and Samsung were expected to follow the suit. But now, they migh tbe unsure of what to do.
2. Consumer electronics stores rethinking strategies after sales picking up by 4 times as India failed to qualify, even though LG & Samsung are optimistic enough to meet their targets.
3. 6000 Indians were expected to travel to the West Indies but now, tour operators already reporting cancellations worth 20-30 crores.
4. Travel agencies rethinking about unsold World Packages, each priced at 3-5 lakhs; probably market it in Sri Lanka or Bangladesh could be a good option.
5. Restaurant and Multiplexes rethinking their strategies as they used to gather huge crowds at India matches.
6. Crores had been spent on creating campaigns for specific brands like Nike, Visa, Pepsi, ITC Foods and Tata Sky around the tournament. The fate unknown for them now and God knows whats going to happen for yet-to-be released ones, though finished.
7. Fans, particularly those from US and Canada, who bought advance tickets are hocking them at prices at $20; much less than the normal price of $75 to $300.
8. There are also cancellations of airline tickets, hotels and resort reservations en masse.

Truly, the figures and facts were too big to be ignored when 30% of th entire country population still lives in the poverty. Loss, directly and indirectly will come to the common people of India. These cricketers were already being paid for what they did both in the advertisements and on the ground. Now, the pain of their loss has to be borne by the common people of India.
Don’t you feel these big private players will try to make up their losses thorugh some way or the other-may be by cutting the work force or may be increasing the commodity prices or something which you and I have never thought of? But surely, some way or the other they would definitely find a way; atleast I would have definitely though of some plans if I would have been in their place. After all, they also need money to survive much like I and you do so by working by our own way. Suppose, one month you over-spend in your budget, then won’t you try to adjust it in next couple of months to break even? Its the same in business also.

So, get ready to pay for the loss of brave Tiger-like Indian Cricketers(as shown in an ad- which they wore the masks against the minnows Bermuda to become a janus-faced) in the World Cup in some way or the other…
The conclusion-Indian Cricket Team needs freah blood and retirement of already great Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly with sacking and ban of cricket for Sehwag, Dhoni, Harbhajan, Agarkar, Yuvraj and Zaheer for bringing such a dishonour to the country, who treated them as deni-Gods.

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Well, Here I have another reason at looking at people around me. Every year I see a lot of my colleagues spend a lot of their time playing computer games. In the past, even students of IIT, Bombay have been criticized of being addicted to computer games and bunking classes due to these. Now, here is an opportunity for those addicts to build their own career and bring glory to the nation too.

The Electronics Sports World Cup Clicked Off With 53 Nations Vying For $4,00,000 Prize Money

From June 30, to July 2, the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) has clicked off on a scale like never before. Over 800 national champions, from the participating 53 countries will be engaged in a cyber war, comprising seven games, with an estimated 40,000 spectators at the Bercy Stadium in Paris. The prize money: $4,00,000.
Even though it is the fourth edition of the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC) worldwide, this is the first time that Indians are participating in the tournament.
The infantile Indian market produced 10 finalists that emerged at Delhi, out of the 162 semi-finalists who had been selected after preliminary rounds held in nine cities. The host of the preliminary rounds in Hyderabad was Diginet Digital Experience Zone, run by KG Krishna. The current revenue earned by existing gaming parlors in India lies between Rs 100 to Rs 150 crore.

So, eying the 50% of the population of India that lies in the age group of 18-25, this can be seen as a great investment of the future for a lot of companies and a great career for all those cyber game addicts.

Courtesy: The Economic Times.

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