IPL will become a global brand: Modi

April 17th, 2009 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Cape Town, April 16 (IANS) The Indian Premier League will return to India next year, but the long-term vision is to turn it into a global brand, in much the same way as the English Football Premier League, IPL chairman and commissioner Lalit Modi said here Thursday.

“Spectators will see the world’s best players playing competitive cricket, and it’s made more compelling because of the competitive instincts of the players,” Modi told a large international media contingent at the International Convention Centre.

An important aspect of the marketing of the competition is advertising and 120 million rands has been earmarked to attract spectators to the games. The organisers are also spending time on local radio stations, introducing the players in the eight teams that are vying for the top spot.

“The heat is on” campaign with thousands of street pole posters in major cities across the country and three full-page ads in single editions of every national and regional daily and weekly newspaper is arguably the largest media spend by any sporting authority in the country’s history, and is aimed at providing a taste of India to local spectators.

A part of the ‘taste of India’ is a new initiative, which sees a Miss Bollywood SA competition, with one young woman spectator nominated from each of the 56 league matches going through to a final, where a panel will select the winner, who wins a role in a Bollywood movie and a trip to India.

Modi said he knows he made the right decision in bringing the second Twenty20 cricket competition to South Africa because of security concerns during the general elections that started off in India Thursday, though he conceded that moving the competition here was disappointing for the Indian fans, young and old.

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