Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cricket Super Bowl in South Asia?

Super Bowl XLII
As New England Patriots meet New York Giants for Super Bowl XLII tomorrow, there is the usual annual excitement among the football fans planning for Super Bowl parties around the country. In addition to being a great sporting event, Super Bowl has also become a gigantic commercial extravaganza for a whole range of businesses. For example, the media are the big beneficiaries of the multi-million dollar TV commercials by major consumer product giants. The consumer electronics stores sell a lot of large-screen high-definition TV sets and home theater systems. And the grocery giants attract a lot of spending just for this event. That's not all, even the furniture stores benefit from major furniture sales just prior to the event. In short, this event by itself creates a significant stimulus to the economy on an annual basis.

TV Sales
Last year, US retailers sold 61 percent more TVs the week before the Super Bowl compared with the previous week, according to NPD group in Port Washington, NY. Best Buy targets Super Bowl shoppers with 2-3 year no-interest loans and guarantees delivery before the event. The TV buyers usually end up buying more with the TV sets such as the home theater systems. La-Z-Boy goes after the couch potatoes to sell comfortable furniture to go with the new TV sets for the event.

Snacks Sales
Americans are expected to consume about 30.4 million pounds of snack food this year on Super Bowl Sunday. This includes 11 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 2.8 million pounds of popcorn and lots of avocados, pizza, and beer.

Annual India-Pakistan Cricket Games
Pakistanis and Indians are probably just as enthusiastic for major cricket games between the two nations. However, the commercial scale is not comparable to the Super Bowl. But my recent experience watching the Indian Cricket League 2020 tournament in 2007 tells me that we are headed in that direction. The tournament seemed like a grand affair with all the elements of speed, excitement, entertainment, glamor, and commerce. As South Asia grows in economic importance on world stage, I would not be surprised to see the cricket scene there become the greatest sports spectacle on earth in the future.

Sources: Denver Post, Associated Press, Other Data.

1 comment:

Riaz Haq said...

Here are two stories on Pakistan Super League:

Haroon Lorgat, the former International Cricket Council boss who is now a consultant for the Pakistan Cricket Board’s new Twenty20 league, feels it has got huge potential and will attract top foreign players to participate in the event soon.

In an exclusive interview to Gulf News, Lorgat, who stopped over in Dubai after launching the logo of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in Lahore, said: “There is a lot of potential for the PSL. We all know that Twenty20 cricket is now a reality and professional cricket in the form of franchise-based models is now common and people understand it. So professional leagues will develop and Pakistan, which has some 180 million people, are very passionate for the game of cricket. They have amazing talent within the country and the response I have seen for this league has even excited me.”

Lorgat, who was the Chief Executive of ICC during a crucial phase, strongly believes that foreign players will return to play in Pakistan.

“Foreign players should come to play in Pakistan. We all know the negative perceptions about safety and security. It is something which is real and the PCB will put in place a security plan to deal with the risks and perceptions. The enquiries received from some very good foreign international players to play in the league are extremely encouraging. If I look at what has already been confirmed and what is in the pipeline, it bodes well. I hope some of the real super stars too will consider though I do understand that it will be up to each individual to decide. I have been to Pakistan a number of times recently and Lahore is quite a normal place. Cricket goes on there and I know that Pakistan will put appropriate safety and security measures in place.”


Answering to a query why Pakistan players are good Twenty20 players and whether it has to do with their physique or skill, Lorgat said: “It is a combination of a number of things. They certainly have serious talent and skill. We all know how often Pakistan select new players that thrills the world. They appear to work a lot harder these days and I have seen their academy which is very impressive. They have good process in place to develop their players, their disciplines have also improved and with their skills they will always produce match winners. “

The Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) plans of involving international cricketers in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) are likely to get a boost after some Australian players, who took part in the Sri Lankan Premier League (SLPL), indicated that they would like to be a part of the event.

It has been learnt that the Pakistani players, who were part of the SLPL, tried convincing foreign players to participate in the PSL and received an encouraging response from them. The Australians part of SLPL included Brad Hodge, Clint McKay, Dirk Nannes and Adam Voges among others.

“Australian players have shown interest in the PSL,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune. “They were receiving $20,000-$35,000 in SLPL and with an opportunity of earning up to $100,000 in Pakistan, we’re hopeful it will be an attractive enough proposition for them. Their presence would be vital to our pursuit of the revival of international cricket in Pakistan.”

The official was hopeful that a successfully executed PSL would help them to host international matches in Pakistan.

“We need to set a precedent through the PSL that Pakistan is safe for sports and it won’t be difficult in convincing teams to play here as it’s right now.”