The acronym KKR is worshipped by every Kolkatan and by many cricket followers across the world not just because it’s associated with world’s most entertaining sport but because it’s juxtaposed with the passion of Bengal, the journey of Dada, the swag of superstar Shahrukh Khan and much more. Kolkata Knight Riders represents the Royal Bengal in Indian Premier League and has come bigger and better each year. This two time IPL champion team was bought under the ownership of Shahrukh Khan, actress Juhi Chawla and her husband Jay Mehta for a whopping $75.09 million. Korbo, Lorbo, Jeetbo re, as they say, they have been acting, fighting the odds and winning it all, both on and off the field. With its combative marketing strategies, KKR became the only team in IPL season 1 to have earned profit.
Brands have Needs and so do Teams
Off the field, the franchise has made sincere efforts to remain the talk of the town. Some of its top notch marketing strategies include inviting Bollywood celebrities for the matches that helps increase its brand visibility and brand equity in leaps and bounds. The visibility strategies aren’t limited to Bollywood celebs, instead they extend to high end brands like Nokia, Hyundai, Sprite, Matrix, Reebok, etc. too. KKR’s omnipresence across diverse sectors aided him in garnering a larger audience than what the fellow IPL teams could manage to.
The magnanimity of promotions crossed the borders too when the famous pop star Akon was roped in for the team’s anthem. The international singing sensation worked in collaboration with Indian talents like Vishal Dadlani and came up with an anthem that was hummed by all each time a KKR batsman hit a six or a bowler took a catch. The team owner also roped in world renowned dancer Shakira for a KKR music video, the lyrics of which was composed by the famous duo Salim Sulaiman.
Digital Media Marketing
KKR was unstoppable on the field in all seasons of IPL and the cheerleaders were a testimony to the same. Before the 2nd enthralling season of IPL, Shahrukh Khan launched a TV show under the production of Red Chillies Entertainment for selecting cheerleaders for KKR. The show named ‘Knights and Angels’ aired on NDTV Imagine and style, personality, attitude, rhythm and a fit body were the criteria which the young ladies were tested on. KKR has also been marketing itself on various social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. With millions of followers across all platforms, KKR has its fan base in every nook and corner of the world.
Over the years, the team went through some restructuring, some players were dropped out and some fresh talent were inculcated along with some of the most experienced players. This was the need of the hour to tackle the fierce talent of other IPL teams. The fresh wave demanded a fresh campaign too. With a new attitude and new intensity, the new look was rolled out across a wide range of applications including the team merchandise, social media as well as the team kit.
Perks for Players
Before every IPL season and sometimes during the season as well, Shahrukh Khan and the top management of KKR hold press conferences for the team. Here they discuss the changes that they have brought in the team, launch their jerseys and do other promotional activities too. One of the major factors contributing to the razzmatazz of these press conferences is the lavish gifts that King Khan gets for his men. In the 4th season of IPL, the owner got his players including the coach, watches by Tag Heuer which created a lot of hype in the market and added to the team’s exposure.
The Extra Mile
KKR owner Shahrukh Khan took extra steps than the other team owners by being himself the 12th man for the team. This went on to become a source of motivation for the players since they saw their team owner doing much more than what the other team owners were doing for their respective teams. Also, this increased SRK’s visibility on the field which helped pulling more fans to the stadium.
Over the years, KKR has become a huge brand in the world of cricket. Indian Paisa League..err..Indian Premier League has seen large investments from the team owners for the team’s marketing, and brands too have sportingly come forward for being associated with these teams. IPL teams have managed to make these brands a talking point as the players flaunt their logo on the team jerseys, helmets, etc. Nonetheless, both brands as well as the team has gained from these marketing strategies. Despite being one of the lowest performing teams in IPL season 1, KKR managed to make profits and was also the only one in this zone. In subsequent years as well, the team has time and again come up with bigger and better strategies and has each time left the spectators awestruck.