The Opening edition of the Indian Badminton League was inaugurated yesterday at New Delhi with the matches between Krrish Delhi Smashers and Pune Pistons.
Here are some of our initial thoughts based on the first day of this event.
Overall View: Needs More Attention from Organisers to gain attention from Viewers
Coverage before the event
- The coverage of this event by the media was excellent. Leading newspapers ran articles for about a week leading to this event.
- The advertisers roped in people like John Abraham to promote IBL, but I wish they had roped in more stars much ahead of the event. They had top people roped in to IBL. Something like Sunil Gavaskar and Sania Mirza challenging each other in cricket and tennis respectively and then leaving their games and deciding using a game of badminton – substituting with young badminton players – would have been much more attractive.
- There were online advertisements for various words like ‘Badminton’ etc., on Google Ads as well as in Facebook – to improve the visibility. There was good amount of money spent in all angles – not sure if they were spent in the right direction.
- The ticket sales is the most important factor in any such event – especially when it is new. The IBL tickets are made available quite late. For example, even today tickets are not available on the official IBL ticket website TicketGenie.in for Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad matches. If we cannot sell tickets two weeks ahead of time, are we expecting to create magic and sell tickets all in one week???? Such weak magic only results in empty seats!
Coverage during the event
- The TV coverage was excellent with STAR TV Network having the event telecast live in both ESPN as well as STAR SPORTS 2. The only small glitch was that the scoreboard is placed so badly that any forehand toss to a right handed player on the other side of the court will be completely hidden by the scoreboard. I wish STAR Sports can fix this to improve the viewing experience of the users.
- Another plus factor was the glamour quotient. There was a good looking girl who was made as the lead compere for the IBL matches and she definitely looked very presentable as well as charming. Good move there IBL
- During any IPL match, we always saw the ambassadors of each team prominently giving interviews during the matches and making it exciting during the breaks. Where was Sania Mirza, the ambassador for Delhi Smashers during the matches? We need to leverage such people who are already in the system – to make the system better.
- The online IBL You Tube channel was a big surprise, providing live telecast of the event online on the IBL You Tube Channel.
- The Indian Badminton League website has been consistently crashing when there is demand. It works well when there is no traffic. It crashed during the day of the auction and crashed again during the opening day. When you host your website on a shared server with 130+ other websites, what else do you expect? It is not just the server, but also the poor quality of service they have in mind – the site even now shows a 404 Error!
- Indian Badminton League Facebook page was updated periodically with scores, photos as well as updates, but they need someone who can sit online and respond to all the valid questions raised by users online. This will convert visitors to leads to filling up of seats.
TV Ads during the event
- Most of the advertisement slots were occupied by either M.S.Dhoni’s advertisement for Barclays Football League or the advertisement for Cricket T20 Champions League. It is quite funny to see these two sports occupying major slots in the biggest event for Badminton so far.
- Other than the above mentioned ones, most of the slots aimed at TV ads were quite disappointing. The repeat of John Abraham’s ad for IBL shows that many slots went unsold!
- It was quite disappointing to see lot of empty seats during the opening day. I cannot believe we could not fill up those seats in a small indoor stadium during the inaugural day of the most prestigious badminton event ever in the history of Indian badminton. If we increase the number of avenues through which people can buy tickets much ahead of time, we will be able to make better sales.
- I have seen an article on IBL website comparing IBL with IPL and it says why IBL is better than IPL, but the proof is obvious when we compare facts and data. At the end of the day, this has to be made better to the badminton lovers, so that they are pulled to the courts on the match day.
- While we all love badminton in India, we only hope that IBL can be made much better by making such small changes – which will lead to the success of this league as well as the tournament in the country. Otherwise, IBL will become yet another league which came and went in India, trying to be like IBL.
- btw, where is the IBL merchandise? I am aware of at least 100 people who want to buy it but do not know where to buy it. Opportunity lost!
Overall without converting visitors to leads and leads to sales, no business can survive. To do this we need millions of visitors, from which lakhs of leads can be obtained and thousands of sales done. We now have barely reached thousands of visitors – food for thought.