Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fake IPL Player and Buzz Marketting

The latest buzz in the IPL II is not about the cricket but the Fake IPL Player who is writing a blog and claims himself to be a member of the KKR.

The Fake IPL Player claims that he is a member of the team of KKR. He describes himself as a “perennial no hoper” and he goes on to say “there's one thing I do very well. Serve drinks. And that's what I am expecting do in South Africa” and promises (throughout the IPL, I will be bringing to you the "aankhon dekha haal", right from inside the dressing room, meeting room and players' bedrooms.)

He goes on say in a later post how the team management is searching for him and he is posting the post when his “rommie” is sleeping and via SMS from his brother back in India because laptops have been banned in the hotel.

I believe the Fake IPL Player is not a cricketer because no cricketer would ever risk his entire career in cricket for writing a stuff from which he would not benefit in anyway. The language flow, the use of punctuation, the use of satiricalnesses goes on to show that the writer is writing the blog with lots of time in his hand and not writing in a hurry as he claims to be. Finally, no cricketer or support staff would be a poet and our Fake IPL Player has even composed a poem in his blog titled “BubLee aur Babli.” The writer, to my mind, is no doubt a professional satirist.

But the question is this Fake IPL Player also gives some facts about the team that looks to be correct and also the weather conditions of South Africa before the day of the match. This does prove that this guy is in South Africa and doing all the writing from there. The KKR team site writer that Fake IPL Player is a "poison pen of the dirtiest variety."

Buzz marketing or undercover marketing is an unconventional strategy that is used to attract end users (consumers). It is where the consumers do not realize they are marketed to. The goal of any undercover campaign is to generate a buzz about a product. The largest appeal of undercover marketing is that it offers free word of mouth publicity that can reach huge number of consumers for free.

Now, look at the recent controversies around KKR which has made the team to be in limelight for quite a long time now.
1. Removal of Kolkata from the jersey and putting only Knight Riders. This act was an instant controversy and the team got free air time on TV, and newspaper.
2. Once this controversy died, there was the multiple captain controversy. This one was a bigger hit and again all TV channels (news and sports) gave coverage to the event and there were so many discussions about the same. This issue again gave the team unlimited coverage for free. Once the matches started there were no multiple captains, although the captain was changed.
3. Fake IPL player is the mother of all controversies that has been created around the team KKR. We have newspapers devoting an entire page to this controversy and television again giving free air time discussing the issue. I am not sure, now that Fake IPL Player has created the hype, if we are not going to get any more of the “aankhon dekha haal” from him.

From all this controversies KKR, the team, has gained huge interest among the teams playing the IPL. I won’t be surprised if with all these controversies KKR matches are getting more TRP ratings than other matches. As the team comes on the minds of the audience so does the sponsors supporting the team.

I wonder if the team management feels Fake IPL Player is a "poison pen of the dirtiest variety" why they did not approach Google and got the blog deleted. Google has in the past deleted many a fake Orkut IDs, when complained by the offended party. In my mind there is not even an iota of doubt about who is behind the “Fake IPL Player” and who is benefiting from him the most.

Friday, April 17, 2009

White Supremacy and IPL

"White supremacy is the belief that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance of whites." This is how Wikipedia defines white supremacy.

The naming of Brendon McCullum as captain of Kolkata Knight Riders proves another point of the typical Indian mindset that whites are supreme than us, brown Indians. KKR is not the first team though to believe in “white supremacy.” Before KKR naming Brendon McCullum as their captain, it was Deccan Chargers, Bangalore Royal Challengers, and of course Rajasthan Royals.

If retired players like Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist can be good for captain than it is hard to justify why Indian players like Sourav, Dravid and Laxman are not fit for captaincy. Age as everyone might think as the factor actually does not hold good when one has Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne as captains who are no younger than Sourav, Dravid or Laxman. Finally, age has nothing to do as far as captaincy is concerned.

Yes, it is a fact that KKR under Sourav failed miserably in the IPL but that had more to do with the team than his captaincy. KKR, last year, had players like McCulum, Ponting, Gayle for a very few matches and had to do most of the time without regular batsman in the side (even Taibu had to be included as a batsman in some matches). On his part, Sourav did perform well both with the bat and the ball in IPL session I.

It is a pity that the captains that these teams have chosen were never the regular captain of their own national side with the exception of Kevin Pietersen. With the captaincy in the hands of white foreigners, the local flavor, which was given by the city names and evoked immense support from the cities, will almost evaporate from the IPL II.

IPL was supposed to give Indian talents a chance to play with the world's best and thus improve their skills. Actually, this is what Mr. Modi had initially said when he conceptualized IPL. With all white non-Indians in the think tank as well as captains, I do not see how they will play a part in improving the local lot (excluding the members of the Indian National Team) as they do not have any understanding of the locals.

It is just not the captains who are being changed, if one looks at the support team one can hardly find any Indian in any of the teams, be it the coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, etc. It is indeed a sorry figure considering India has produced so many exceptional players and yet no team can have faith in an Indian. The Indians in the support teams of various teams like Lalchand Rajput has been substituted with white people.

SRK, the owner of KKR, himself is a performer and had a long list of failures. Flops of SRK includes but are not limited to Guddu, Chamatkar, Dil Aashna Hai, King Uncle, Anjam, English Babu Desi Mem, Maya Memshaeb, Zamana Deewana, Badshah, Ram Jaane, Oh Darling Yeh Hain India, Phir Bhi Dil Hain Hindustani, Asoka, Paheli. With so many flops under his belt, SRK has not stopped acting as hero in films neither has producers or directors taken the faith off him. It is a pity that SRK being a performer himself could go in for such a step because Sourav could not bring laurels for his team in the inaugural session of IPL.

The present trend of appointing foreign captain and foreign coaches is driven by the typical Indian mentality that everything foreign is good, especially if it is from a white country.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bulls Bears and Third Front

With the election in full swing, the speculation of which party or parties will come to power after the formation of 15th Lok Sabha is rife. All the analysis on TV and newspaper are showing that neither the UPA nor the NDA is likely to garner the 271 seats required for the formation of a government.

The capital market does not favor any political formation over other and generally looks at stability and will be happy with either the UPA or the NDA coming to power with absolute majority and lasting the full term. In case the third front comes to power with outside support of the congress or BJP, the stock markets are expected to move southwards. The third front will mean a combination of about two dozen regional parties with no focus of policy or ideology and with left being a part of it will have foreign policy and economic policy which will perhaps take India back by a few centuries.

The third front will certainly frighten the investors away from India for the following reasons:
1. Left’s anti-market policy and labor friendly policy (left has successfully shut down industries in West Bengal in their 3 decade rule and only recently started getting investor friendly again).
2. SP’s anti English, anti computerization (as in their manifesto) policy will perhaps make India competitive only with the SWAT areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.
3. Banning of forward trading as proposed by SP and left will only make hedging impossible and bring in more losses for India Inc and needless to say taxes for the government.
4. Finally, and most importantly any third front formation supported by one of the big 2 will not be able to last for long.

Historically, it has been seen that the capital markets do not like the amalgamation of a myriad of political parties coming together and giving an unstable government (like in the times of Deve Gowda and I. K. Gujral) with outside support.

If the third front does come to power this time, it is my guess that the share markets will see a new low in the month of May and June 2009.