Flop on the field but a hit on eBay

  • Sahil Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: May 16, 2009 02:33 IST

The Kolkata Knight Riders and the Kings XI Punjab have had a rocky time on the field in IPL-2, but their fans are still voting for them with their wallets.

If merchandise sales are an indicator of a team’s popularity, there is an X-factor at work for them — at least on international auction website eBay.

While actress Preity Zinta’s Kings XI Punjab top the overall sales of team-based merchandise, actor Shah Rukh Khan’s KKR lead the pack in the US and Germany.

“The major reason behind the popularity of these two teams is their celebrity owners,” Kashyap Vadapalli, marketing head, eBay India, told HT. “Both Khan and Zinta have a large fan-following and it shows in the sales of their teams’ merchandise.”

Team jerseys are selling the most — especially T-shirts costing between Rs 400 and Rs 500. Other items on sale include caps, footwear, key rings and even trumpets.

‘Battle of the Fans’, eBay’s sales barometer, tracks the sales of merchandise.

King’s XI account for 29 per cent of all the IPL merchandise sold. They are doing particularly well in markets where Bollywood and cricket form a potent mix for expatriates: the UK, Canada and Australia.

But the side stories belong to the local heroes.

The top-selling apparel in Ranchi, home town of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is of his team Chennai Super Kings. The story is the same in Sri Lanka — with his teammate Muttiah Muralitharan’s popularity doing the trick.


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