So what makes a suddenly concocted team of cricketers work up a magic with fans?
As the second season of the Indian Premier League cricket got underway last week, advertising major Dentsu India delved deep with a one-month online research study stretching 2,099 respondents across 30 Indian cities.
Its answer came up with four pillars that drive fan following:
Human factor — the team’s members.
Perceived energy — the image generated by advertising.
Performance —show in the matches.
Engagement — Team’s interaction with fans.
The first two platforms create short term following, while performance and engagement create long term following, the study said.
Rajesh Aggarwal, president, Dentsu India said, "The study is the first of three, the other two happening pre- and post-IPL 2009. The three studies are part of a bigger Sports Fandom study we're doing towards sports ROI, creating some kind of measurable evaluation on team owners and sponsors' spending."
A cocktail of celebrity endorsements by Bollywood stars like Akshay Kumar (Delhi Daredevils), Preity Zinta (Kings of Punjab) and business tycoon Vijay Mallya (Royal Challengers Bangalore) played a key role in the generation of "perceived energy" while players like Virendra Sehwag (Delhi Daredevils) gave strength to the 'human factor.'
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), with Shah Rukh Khan as its owner-endorser, touched the highest ratings on 'human factor' and 'engagement.'