Top South African sportsmen lead IPL’s marketing drive

April 16th, 2009 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

By Fakir Hassen
Cape Town, April 16 (IANS) Two of South Africa’s top sports administrators have been roped in to lead the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) aggressive marketing drive as it gears up for the five-week Twenty20 extravaganza starting here Saturday with the first double-header.

Etienne de Villiers, until recently head of the ATP Tour, the world governing body of men’s tennis, and Francois Pienaar, former South African rugby captain who led the first post-apartheid team to World Cup victory at home in 1995, are making sure that IPL II is lapped up by South Africa.

De Villiers and Pienaar said the IPL has generated great interest among the local media as they travelled across South Africa to brief local media on the IPL’s plans and to encourage support.

“We’re finding radio stations to be especially excited and interested in finding different ways to run promotions, very much in keeping with the different approach of the IPL,” said De Villiers.

“Twenty20 cricket is by its nature more adrenalin-charged and an ideal vehicle around which to build many elements of fun and excitement for the whole family.

“The IPL takes these elements and turbo charges them (by presenting) live music, performances by Cirque du Soleil and a host of innovations at each game that will make it a wonderful outing for all members of the family,” he said.

Street poles in the South African cities where the IPL games will be played are full of large orange posters proclaiming in just a few words, accompanied by photos of some of the top players, the advent of the cricketing carnival.

The IPL had taken the unprecedented step in South Africa of buying up three pages in every major newspaper in the country, daily and weekly, to display the posters as full page advertisements last week. This has been followed up with daily smaller countdown teaser advertisements.

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