Every year in April and May, cricket fans from around the world flock to India to get their fix of premium cricket at its best. For those who are unaware, The Indian Premiere League (IPL) is the world’s most beloved and celebrated annual cricketing championship. Read on to find out how you can get yourself some of the most coveted stadium seats in the world for free.
In an effort to popularize and commercialize cricket even more than it was, BCCI, the governing body of the sport in India, hatched the Indian Premiere League in 2008. Based on ideas borrowed from the most successful sporting leagues worldwide including the English Premier League and the NBA, the Indian Premiere League cemented a most profitable link between mass entertainment and big business. It also presented the added advantage of locking out from the sport competing leagues and associations. Sponsors took to aggressive advertising to popularize the event. Indians have long been crazy for cricket, but they had seen nothing like the Indian Premiere League . The tournament soon became a sensation nationally and internationally. The Indian Premiere League is now the most popular cricket league in the world. It was the first sporting event ever to be broadcast live on YouTube. This massive cricketing extravaganza is worth more than US$ 182 million annually, and grows every year.
At its core the Indian Premiere League is a very clever business idea. The Indian Premiere League teams are franchises owned by corporations and famous personalities. The franchises compete to acquire players in a bidding process. The most coveted players can be auctioned off for as much as INR 14.5 crore (US$ 2,036,503) each for one season. Players can also be traded between teams after being auctioned and before the start of the tournament, but only if they agree to the trade. Each squad can have a maximum of eight overseas players, of which four are allowed to play at any one time. The average annual Indian Premiere League player salary is upwards US$ four million, which is the second highest in the world; way higher than the EPL, and second only to the NBA. Each team is estimated to have a brand value of between US$ 40 million and US$ 65 million.
To maximize viewership the matches are organized in multiple stages including leagues, playoffs, semi finals and finals. The promoters adopted a round-robin format instead of elimination during the league stage, to ensure that supporters of all teams remain hooked. Similarly the playoffs incorporate many qualifying matches to avoid eliminations till the very end. At the end of the finals the winning team is awarded prize money in excess of US$ two million. The second and third finishers also win money. Half of the total prize money, which amounts to US$ 5.6 million, is shared among players.
Airing the Indian Premiere League quickly propelled certain media networks to unprecedented viewership statistics. The broadcasting rights for the Indian Premiere League are worth over a billion US$ annually, of which merely 8% is the prize money and 72% goes straight to the franchises. The Indian Premiere League has more than one billion TV viewers and is broadcast in more than five languages. The popularity of the Indian Premiere League has led to the creation of thousands of hours of spin-off content including pre-match speculation reports and post-event analyses. Other than the matches themselves, one of the most viewed Indian Premiere League TV events is the player auctions, which has viewership in the tens of millions.
How to get to the Indian Premiere League for free
This year Ria Money Transfer is celebrating its partnership with Melbourne Renegades by giving away a return trip for two to India along with free tickets to one Indian Premiere League match. To be eligible all you need to do is send money through Ria Money Transfer from Australia to any country between 21st January and 17th March, and register your order as your entry into the draw here. If you make multiple transfers during this period you can register each one as a separate entry into the draw! The prize is valued at AU$ 5,000. Visit Ria’s Indian Premiere League promo site to find out when the results will be announced and more.