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Five sponsorship proposals for IPL matches that were rejected

22, Mar 2010 By Pagal Patrakar

New Delhi. Apart from popularizing Twenty20 cricket among the businessmen, encouraging the exotic art of cheerleading, and underscoring the federal structure of the republic of India, IPL would also be remembered for providing reasons to the advertisers to spend huge money, half of which is reckoned to go waste in the normal circumstances. But IPL is not a normal event. And that’s why the think tank of IPL keeps on coming up with ideas that make every penny spent worth it.

Furthermore, a research undertaken by an agency called MMR has proved that people felt a sudden urge to live in high-rise buildings when a batsman hit a six and the commentator called it a “DLF Maximum”, while a lot of people reported the desire to possess a credit-card whenever an important wicket went down and it was termed as a “Citi Moment of Success”.

Buoyed by such findings by MMR (Modi Mind Readers Private Limited), IPL decided to come up with many similar sponsorship events during a match, like “Kingfisher Fair Play Award”, “Maxx Mobile Strategic Time Out” and “Karbonn Kamaal Ka Catch”. But Faking News has learnt that at least five similar proposals for new sponsorship opportunities were somehow rejected by the BCCI.

Following were the ideas and possible reasons why these proposals were rejected:

Himani Fast Relief Moment

An Injured Cricketer
A sponsorship opportunity

Idea: A lot of players get injured due to too many matches being played these days. While the players injured during the practice sessions or domestic cricket matches were good only for making news, players injured during IPL matches were deemed to make excellent sponsorship opportunities.

So many times we have seen play being held up if a batsman was hit by a rising delivery or a fielder pulled a muscle or when players collided while taking a run or catching a ball. Instead of appearing insensitive by taking a commercial break on such occasions, the television broadcast could continue with the help of a sponsor selling a pain relief ointment or spray.

Trigger: Whenever a player got injured during the play, the commentator would call it a “Himani Fast Relief Moment” and animated graphics would play on the television screens as well as on the giant screen in the stadium, saying “dard mitaaye chutki mein”.

Flaw: There was no guarantee of number of times players could get injured (as against number of times sixes were hit that were guaranteed by shortening the boundary lines) in a match, and no data was available to show a probability distribution of player-injuries-during-matches to the advertisers.

Uncle Chips Moment

Bhajji allegedly trying to irritate Symonds
Some forms of sledging didn’t involve lips

Idea: With sledging becoming common and cool, players are often seen using cuss words (F-Word of English and C-Words of Hindi) during cricket matches, but often they are not audible due to non-availability of microphones. But one can clearly read their lips and find out what they are saying; even commentators say subtle words like “and we all know what he just said”, etc.

Instead of using such subtle words and phrases, commentators could just call it a moment named after and sponsored by some brand that is about reading lips (bole mere lips, I love Uncle Chips) or some lip-gloss (say, L’Oreal products).

Trigger: The moment a player bursts up with expletives or profanities, the television channel would play his lip movements in slow motion while commentators term it as an “Uncle Chips Moment”.

Flaw: Since such cuss words by celebrities during reality television shows have always attracted high TRPs, the idea received a lot of positive feedback. But it was also noted that since only known and common cuss words could be interpreted by the viewers, the brand risked being tagged with those oft-repeated C-Words or F-Word. Say, people could start calling Uncle Chips as Uncle Ch*** or Ch*** Chips.

Dettol Clean Player Award

Shahid Afridi biting a ball
Someone had spat on the ball earlier

Idea: Cricketers are known to indulge in unhygienic habits on field, such as spitting on the field and on the cricket ball, touching the same ball without cleaning it. Some players have even been seen picking nose in the public, while someone like Ricky Ponting has a strange habit of rubbing his palms after spitting on them.

Just like IPL decided to go green and spread the message of environmentalism in its third season, the idea was that tournament could spread the message of cleanliness, which is next to godliness, by asking a health and personal care products company to award a player, who didn’t indulge in such activities on the field.

Trigger: An award presented by the sponsoring company’s CEO, preferably present with a good looking wife or daughter, at the end of each match during the presentation ceremony to the cleanest player.

Flaw: It would have been logistically quite problematic to record and classify the on-field activities of all the players along clean and dirty lines, and maybe, no player would have qualified for the award at all.

Cheerleader’s Hunk of the Match

An IPL Cheerleader
Many people can't imagine an IPL without cheerleaders

Idea: Cheerleaders have been an integral part of the IPL matches and people had been quite eager to know them better. A look at the Google search volumes for the keyword “cheerleaders” shows up steep spikes (three times till date) around the dates when IPL had been happening. Clearly, IPL and Cheerleaders were synonymous for the Indian audiences.

The idea was to make them even more synonymous. After each match, the team of cheerleaders would have been asked to pick up their favorite player from both the teams, who would have been awarded the “Hunk of the Match” award. Hero Honda, which has a motorcycle brand named Hunk, or some male fairness cream could have sponsored the award.

Trigger: The best looking cheerleader (say, with the best bust size) would have been invited on the stage during the presentation ceremony and asked to explain why her team chose that particular player. The chosen player would have been then invited (optionally) to receive the award.

Flaw: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting might have objected, especially if the presentation ceremony was being anchored by someone like Danny Morrison, who could grab the cheerleader and make her sit on his lap and explain her rationale. Nonetheless, to recognize the contributions of the cheerleaders, IPL decided to start a contest called “Meet the Cheerleaders” for its third season. Hope you guys are participating.

ZooZoo of the Series

A Vodafone ZooZoo
ZooZoo is supposed to have a lot in common with Cricket

Idea: ZooZoos, the characters created and launched during the second season of IPL by Vodafone, proved to be quite popular although they couldn’t beat the cheerleaders for being synonymous with IPL. To beat the cheerleaders, Vodafone had proposed this award, sources say.

The award would have been given at the end of the tournament after continuous public voting through SMS, online polls, and telephones calls at premium call rates throughout the tournament. Some of the desirable qualities along which the viewers would have been asked to vote were – well rounded, unintelligible speech, and laughing randomly.

Trigger: During the grand closing ceremony of IPL, a grand ZooZoo would have appeared and presented the award to the player.

Flaw: The award might not have gone well with the player, say someone like Ramesh Powar might not have enjoyed it after winning it for being well rounded, and there was a risk that people could have insisted to include Lalit Modi as a contestant for the other two qualities.