In the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal, the Indian Twenty20 league's Governing Council (GC) is looking to chalk out concrete plans to eradicate the public perception that the tournament is corrupt.
There’s talk that top players from all nations could take oath via TV promos prior to the next season — serving as reassuring words for those who have lost faith in T20 tournament. And don't be surprised if Season 7 is based on a ‘corruption-free’ theme.
All major sponsors of the event too could get involved. Even most of the in-stadia branding could be based on this theme. “This is an interesting idea. The guys who are into betting will look at it cynically. But to the average Joe on the road, this could work really well,” ad man Prahlad Kakkar felt. “All the top brands will benefit from this too because anything done sincerely, and that involving goodwill, will work for the viewers. It will drive people into it,” he added.
It's pretty much certain that the next season will see major changes, although the GC hasn't formally met since the end of season 6. “So much is left to investigate that we don't want to think about IPL 7 yet. But the main agenda will be cleaning the image of the league. And we will do everything it takes to do that. TV promos and branding don't come under our purview, but we will be making some suggestions,” MP Pandove, member of GC, told HT.
Kakkar went a step further and said the likes of S Sreesanth could use ads to clean up their image too.
“Like what Lance Armstrong did with Nike after he was first accused of doping. That campaign, though now irrelevant, worked superbly at the time. I think many brands might consider the same with Sreesanth,” he said.
The average viewer who thinks matches are fixed is no longer questioning only players, felt Kakkar.
“Now, because of what has happened with N Srinivasan on national television, people all over feel that the board is more corrupt than the players. Before, nobody pointed fingers. But, now, yes, they are the actual villains, and that's what the public feels. Maybe they should have an anthem with even board officials pledging to keep the sport clean. That could work really well.”