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ICL to launch season with big money

The Indian Cricket League is set for a major makeover this season pumping in money to the tune of Rs 60 crore in developing infrastructure and boosting existing tournaments, reports Anam Arsalan.

cricket Updated: Sep 09, 2008 22:40 IST

The Indian Cricket League is set for a major makeover this season pumping in money to the tune of Rs 60 crore in developing infrastructure and boosting existing tournaments. Most detractors had labelled the ICL a “one-season” tournament, but the organisers are determined to prove them wrong.

Fresh on their agenda is a new brand campaign designed to highlight the local players instead of the international stars. Essel Group, ICL’s parent company, is leaving no stone unturned to market the event. “ICL has earmarked a budget of around Rs. 50 crore for marketing the event,” said Shariq Patel, the company’s senior VP marketing and operations.

“The main agenda is to promote the domestic talent and highlight the local players unlike our last campaign where we had hugely publicised international stars like Inzaman.

“All this has been planned for the next ICL event that is happening from October 10 and the catch-line for this campaign will be cricket hai meri life.”

The campaign, which plans to utilise all media for publicity, will kick-off with television commercials and outdoor advertising and later percolate down to print and radio.

What’s more, the ICL is in the final stages of negotiation with eBay, the e-commerce website, for a tie-up, through which it will auction off experiences.

Cricket aficionados will be able to bid for a particular experience; for instance — the highest bidder gets the opportunity to flip the coin during the toss or accompany ace commentators in the commentator’s box during the match. The money, from the bids, will go to charity. Autographed merchandise will also be auctioned.

Apart from the brand campaign, the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, one of ICL’s venues, is being refurbished. “The company is spending as much as Rs. 10 crore for the purpose,” added Patel. So this year, the tournament will be played across four venues with Ahmedabad joining Panchkula, Gurgaon and Hyderabad. Speaking about the sponsorship, Patel said, “We could not have done it without our sponsors. This time too they are with us.”