One of my friends kept this as his facebook status a few days ago:
This was after India had defeated Australia in the quarter finals of the Cricket World Cup 2011. Thinking that he had come up with this catchy phrase on his own, I did what any guy would do when he sees his friend doing something incredibly original and creative; I made fun of him. It was only later that I realized that he was referring to this make-money-quickly-worldcup-trending campaign from Nike.
Looking at the video and the apparent frenzy that it has generated I realized that cricket merchandising is not being exploited properly by the good people of media and corporates. I mean, we are a nation that will donate our liver to the alcohol research foundation if it means we can spend a day in the company of Sachin Tendulkar (I believe several of us are already doing it already.) Damn it! We deserve to be exploited with greater passion.
So I’ve come with a small list of ideas using which we can help cultivate cricket merchandising better :-
1. Player Playthings: This is so obvious that I can’t be believe that some IIM graduate hasn’t thought about it already. A new line of toys modeled after our cricketers with a button at the back. The button has different actions based on the cricketer. For example a Ravi Shastri doll, when pressed, will mutter useful phrases like, “Tracer bullet”, “Going the Distance” and “Stays Hit.” A Sachin doll when pressed doesn’t talk anything but performs cricketing actions like hook, sweep and make Shane Warne cry in his sleep. A Yuvraj Singh doll would point its bat at you and laugh at you for not recognizing its awesomeness earlier and lastly, a Javed Miandad doll, when pressed, would just jump:
2. Page C: It’s shameful to see Cricket grouped together with other sports in the newspaper. It deserves its own page. So I give you, Page C; combining glamour and sport into one deadly cocktail. Considering that the word “Privacy” doesn’t exist in the media dictionary this one should be easy. Ever wonder where Sachin gets his haircut or who’s that girl standing next to ? Fret no more as Page C will have all the details. Right from interviews with the esteemed hairdresser mentioned above to Exclusive Gossip (“Which cricketer attended Robbie’s party and what they wore during the occasion?”) to a weekly column on Cricketer’s personal lives (What games does Sreesanth play in his Wii besides Dance Dance Revolution?!) and finally a daily analysis on why “Sachin is God!” Chennai will get its own version of Page C where R.Ashwin will be dissected, right from his preferences of dosai (Plain, Masala or Set) to his choice of films(with both Rajini and Kamal fans standing nearby for…future course of action)
3. AigaLand: Cricket’s answer to Disney Land. A huge theme park located in the heart of Mumbai consisting of various joy rides, houses of horror, a temple and a theater all related to cricket. Among others, the joy rides will consist of a roller coaster titled “Pakistan” which follows no sane pattern and moves about in all direction, a house of horror special titled “Grab that Cup!” in which the Cricket World Cup is just 3 steps in front of you and you try to reach it while suffering from the illusion that people are trying to choke you and finally a Rocket simulator titled “There and back again” in which the rocket keeps going up continuously, reaches outer space, loses fuel eventually and crashes back to earth with the debris landing in Australia.
4. A new entertainment channel titled, “FUnda..Cricket..Krazy..” I think the title pretty much explains the channel’s content and the target demographic. Todally !!!!
and last but not least..
5. Movies: More films like this one below, nuff said.
Warning: If it should be that one of these ideas becomes a reality and some punk MBA guy gets credit for the “innovating marketing” idea….I shall hire the services of ex-RAW agents and carpet bomb the MBA guy to oblivion.