The Indian Premier League had not always been the grand, massively popular cricket league that it is today. It has grown from a small, conservative, and admittedly limited T20 format cricket league to a phenomenon with a global appeal.

IPL, today, has billions of fans, who are not only interested in following the sport and enjoying themselves with the unique spectacle offered by the league but who are also engaging with the sport more strongly via wagering in cricket matches in any of the bookmakers in India offering online sports betting. 

The road to success was not an easy one for IPL. As a Twenty20 league, the IPL was initially met with some kind of opposition, especially from those who had always been more keen on the traditional format of cricket. But the perks of the shorter version of the undoubtedly exhaustively long cricket games dominant for ages, were felt by the younger generations immediately. And they were also felt by people who were not casual fans of the sport. T20 brought new segments into the equation and made cricket more accessible, more fun, and easier to digest by audiences. 

Whether T20 drove IPL’s huge success or IPL contributed to T20’s extraordinary popularity is something that can’t be answered for sure, but the thing is that today when one thinks of Twenty20 cricket, the first thing that comes to mind is the Indian Premer League. And it’s not only that. When one thinks of the greatest cricket leagues, it is again the IPL that tops any list. 

IPL’s success has been the result of blending all too eloquently and elaborately things that might not seem too close to each other in the first place. Sports, entertainment, marketing, and Bollywood glam were to be integrated into mesmerizing IPL events that would be able to capture the interest of a wide range of possible audiences: from die-hard cricket fans and casual viewers to up-to-then indifferent-to-the-sport people. That was indeed a huge success. Getting everyone to have some interest in watching a cricket match was a dream come true for the Board of Control for Cricket in India. 

And just like that, the IPL became the absolute hit of the sport and the cash cow of BCCI, which saw its revenues grow at unexpectedly high rates in only a few years. The spectacular growth of franchised T20 cricket was telling the story of how IPL went from a small league to the fastest growing and one of the most popular leagues in the world – topping people’s preferences with other widespread leagues such as NFL, MLB, and EPL. 

Analysts attribute IPL’s success to a combination of two things: top-notch and superior sports performance and magnificent spectacle. Performance was to be achieved by recruiting talent, whether this meant acquiring cricket players from inside the country or from the world talent pool. And the IPL was devoted to getting the best of the best. 

So, the recruitment of players involved stacking the best players from all over the world and creating teams that could only compete with one another, if we were to speak about a fair game. And it was not only the players. The IPL recruited the best coaches as well and wanted to have the best venues and stadiums for its games. And they also wanted to have the best sponsors and make huge deals that would bring more money to do all these even better and more efficiently. 

Besides the top-notch performance, it was also about the unique spectacle. The Indian Premier League is never just cricket. It is about Bollywood glam and entertainment. It is about offering something that all viewers would like to watch regardless of their level of engagement with cricket. It is about taking the concept of a sporting event to a whole new level – equivalent to bewitching, fascinating events that meet world-class expectations, by bringing together the deep cultural values and the New India. 

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A good product and an extraordinary marketing and communications strategy are the core ingredients of a successful league. A league that has set to change not only how cricket is ‘consumed’ domestically, but most importantly how it is perceived globally!