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BW Businessworld

Beyond A Boundary

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It was a bunch of devils that did it. In 1983, by winning the cricket world cup for India. Soon, cricketing celebrities started endorsing almost every product, and the growing popularity of television helped power the growth of the game into a billion-dollar industry. The Business Of Cricket (HarperCollins), written by Shyam Balasubramanian and Vijay Santhanam, tells this story in interesting detail. In 2010, sports marketing was worth over $113 billion globally, growing at 4 per cent yearly, while the global sports goods and equipment market stood well over $260 billion. While a number of sports and games fuelled sports marketing across the globe, in India, the pitch favoured only cricket. Of the total annual sports marketing figure for India — Rs 11,700 crore ($2.6 billion) — cricket corners two-thirds of it. Interestingly, the book says, more than half of this is scored by the Indian Premier League.

Rich in anecdotes, the book tracks almost every key event in the history of cricket in India. It analyses personas such as Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar ("the God of TRPs") and M.S. Dhoni, and studies how cricket has changed the dynamics of telecasting, marketing and branding. It even examines deviations such as "the Mandira Bedi factor". Even though certain sections read like consultancy reports, the book is a must for fans and marketers alike.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 13-06-2011)

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