- Official Website: Finally, Chennai Super Kings's Official website has been launched. Though the website's design is nicely done, it is not yet fully functional. You can check it out at http://chennaisuperkings.com
- New Sponsor: In the official website, Aircel has been given the same importance as the other brands of India Cements Ltd. So we can safely assume that Aircel is going to be the main sponsor of Chennai Super Kings.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Friday, 28 March 2008
If this source is to be believed, Ace cinematographer-cum-film maker Rajiv Menon is going to direct the music video/anthem for Chennai Super Kings. Rajiv, responsible for the success for several commercials, is taking every effort to make this video stand out from the rest. Both Vijay and Nayanthara are expected to shake their legs for the video.
According to insiders, the video is expected to be ready within the first week of April. A segment of the video, featuring a bunch of youngsters and top players from the Chennai team, was recently shot at AVM studios. [To know about AVM's connection with Chennai Super Kings, read here]
Thursday, 27 March 2008
Five New Zealand players, signed with the Indian Premier League, have been given permission by New Zealand board to miss the opening two matches of the England tour. This is great news for Chennai Super Kings fans since Jacob Oram is in great form these days. And this decision by New Zealand Cricket board means he will be available for the first four matches played by Chennai Super Kings. Now, my only wish is that he makes a quick recovery from his hip problem and be fit enough to play all the four matches for Chennai Super Kings. Chennai Super Kings squad would be surely strengthened by the presence of a player of his caliber.
News Source: Cricinfo
When India Cements Ltd announced that Vijay and Nayanthara are going to be the star ambassadors for Chennai Super Kings, I was hugely surprised by the swiftness, with which India Cements Limited was able to sign two of Kollywood's hottest stars. While some fans talked about huge sums of money exchanging hands, it was a mystery to me. So I did a little big of digging(googling).
Srinivasan's Connection with Vijay and Nayantara:
It came as a surprise to me that N. Srinivasan's daughter Rupa Gurunath is married to Gurunath Meiyappan of AVM family, one of the oldest and leading film and TV serial production houses in the south[Source: ET]. Once I found this connection, everything started falling into place. Viay's next film (under AVM banner) is being produced by AVM Balasubramanian and Gurunath Meiyappan[Source: Hindu]. AVM Balasubramanian, younger brother of AVM Saravanan, is the father of Gurunath Meiyappan. I don't think I have to reveal the final piece of the puzzle - Heroine of Vijay's future film under AVM banner. None other than Nayanthara[Source: oneindia]. The final nail in my research is the confession by Nayanthara in her sify interview that Gurunath Meiyappan contacted her regarding Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings is the first endorsement done by Nayanthara and Vijay too is known for his rare endorsements. So it can be safely assumed that it was the association with cricket and India Cements Ltd's connection that resulted in the signing rather the huge sums of money. Thanks to Gurunath Meiyappan's connections, Chennai Super Kings is able to employ various Kollywood stars and artists for Chennai Super Kings.
Gurunath Meiyappan on the left
On March 18, India Cements Ltd formally introduced Vijay and Nayanthara as Star Brand Ambassadors for Chennai Super Kings. Though Vijay was present in the inaugural function, Nayanthara was conspicuous by her absence. But Nayanthara has made amendments to her absence through an exclusive interview to Sify.com, in which she expresses her support for Chennai Super Kings.
From Nayanthara's Interview"
- She has never watched cricket live in a stadium
- Her favourite player is Sachin Tendulkar, though she likes Dhoni's attitude and captaincy. She is all excited to meet Sreesanth, a fellow Keralite.
- She has promised to show up at all the matches featuring Chennai Super Kings.
P.S: With Nayantara promising to be present in all the cricket matches, don't be surprised to hear rumours connecting Nayantara with Chennai Super Kings' players.
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Chennai Super Kings Fans, watching the test match between India and South Africa, were in for a surprise - Chepauk Stadium wore a festive look with a number of banners, hoarding and signboards all decorated in bright yellow. [Thus ending the long debate among Chennai super kings fans about the official colour of the team and the colour of team uniform] Even all roads leading to the Stadium, walls and parts of the Stadium were painted with the logo of the Chennai Super Kings team.
Not stopping with the banners, India Cements Limited has also announced various promotions during the test match - Prizes for those coming dressed in yellow, Surprise gifts, etc. Also India Cements Limited is expected to start off its merchandise (T-shirts, caps) sale in the next few days. With a flat pitch, the 'yellow nation' became the hot topic of debate rather than the cricket played on the stadium. Even Cricinfo and rediff cannot stop themselves from commenting about "Welcome to Lion's Den" banners, seen on the stadium.
News Source: Hindu
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
Except for Dhoni, the other captains of IPL teams have said something about their teams and their chances in IPL. But Dhoni has never said anything about Chennai Super Kings or its chances in Indian Premier League. This may be due to the fact that most of the cricketing matters in CSK are decided by V B Chandrasekhar and his team rather than the team captain. With Dhoni in Lion's Den for the first test match between India and South Africa, I expected the situation to change.
I expected Dhoni to appear in public with the management team of Chennai Super Kings to express his support and commitment for Chennai Super Kings. But Dhoni and India Cements Limited have preferred to keep their interaction private. None of the press were informed beforehand about Dhoni's meeting with India Cements' President, N. Srinivasan on Monday. We came to know about this interaction only through a small mention in Hindu's Tuesday paper that M.S. Dhoni was presented a motorbike worth Rs. 8 lakh. It would have been great if this has happened before the flashing camera bulbs. Alas! the management thinks otherwise. Anyway! With Dhoni expected to spend most of the Indian Premier League season in Chennai, we could expect Dhoni to be sighted in Chennai with his new bike.
P.S: To know more about M.S. Dhoni, visit his official website.
Monday, 24 March 2008
Theme song of a sports team plays a major role in stirring up the passion of its fans. All the fans of Chennai Super Kings know this and would have the expectation that the theme song of CSK should not only be great, but also should be able to inspire both fans and players. It seems the same care has been shown by the management of Chennai Super Kings team too.
India Cements Limited has brought in the best available talent for composing the theme song of Chennai Super Kings. Ergo reports that 20 year old wonder GV Prakash(nephew of veteran film composer A.R. Rahman) is going to be the music director for the theme song while Vairamuthu is the lyricist. Since Vairamuthu is the lyricist, we can be rest assured that the theme song would be in Tamil.
Sunday, 23 March 2008
Are you a member of Chennai Super Kings Orkut Communities?
Until today, I was not. Don't know how I missed it. But until the lighting bolt struck me today, I never thought of supporting Chennai Super Kings and networking with other Chennai Super Kings Fans through Orkut. If you are like me... yet to become a member of any Chennai Super Kings Orkut fan communities, it is time you became a member of one.
There are already 78 Orkut Communities that support Chennai Super Kings. But three of them have emerged as the leaders:
- Chennai Super Kings - IPL with 2918 members
- Chennai Super Kings - IPL with 1960 members
- Chennai Super Kings - Official with 1014 members
Hope you became a member of a Chennai Super Kings Orkut Fan community.
P.S: You can add me as a friend @ http://www.orkut.com/Profile.aspx?uid=12456944139455719818
Saturday, 22 March 2008
- Expected News: Dhoni has been officially announced as captain of the Chennai Super Kings team. [No Surprises there]
- Chandrasekhar promises Surprises: I was thinking that L Balaji was the last member to be included in the Chennai Super Kings team. But V B Chandrasekhar, Head of Cricketing matters in Chennai Super Kings disagress and promises two or three more surprises in the composition. [Source: Hindu]
- Revenue: Whatever people may say, all the IPL franchise owners are here for money. And ICL is no exception. It is looking at the revenues coming from sponsorship of T-shirts and caps, advertisements on helmets, shared revenue from TV rights and the BCCI central pool, gates collection and merchandising of other items to break even in the first year itself.
Friday, 21 March 2008
As V.B. Chandrasekhar rightly pointed out,
"When he’s fit and bowling well, it’s good for us, while the IPL is a platform to continue his comeback.”
Vijay Hazare Trophy(all-India one-day Knockout tournament) provides us the perfect opportunity to assess his form and fitness before the crucial Indian Premier League matches. With the inclusion of Balaji, Chennai Super Kings has an unbeatable team combination. Now it is time for the players to fire and deliver the promises.
P.S: To know the entire squad of Chennai Super Kings, Visit Chennai Super Kings Squad.
Anyway! India Cements Limited pulled a coup by signing two of Tamil Nadu's hottest stars to endorse Chennai Super Kings. Chak De Chennai Super Kings!
Thursday, 20 March 2008
But not all seem to share my happiness. Chennai Online, on its editorial, has chided Chennai Super Kings for the disgrace it brought by bonding up with two Kollywood heartthrobs. They say bringing in Vijay shows the total lack of confidence. But their only valid point is that - 'With Dhoni being India's biggest ambassador, What is the need for another ambassador?'
But Dhoni being India's Brand ambassador(Generic) could not pep up the Tamil(Specific) crowds, especially Chennai-sts, while Vijay could do that. If supporting the team is based on the cricketer's brand, most of us would be supporting Mumbai Indians, since we all prefer Sachin over others. So the support base of Chennai Super Kings has to built on something else. By bringing on Vijay, Chennai Super Kings could assure Tamil people that they will always belong to the soil. Also Vijay provides Chennai Super Kings to come up with exciting promotions and advertisements that could create a buzz for Chennai Super Kings. Remember, even Chennai Super Stars of Indian Cricket League used a look-alike of Vijay for their promotion.
Also Vijay could create that initial craze for Chennai Super Kings which is essential for the success of the concept of Indian Premier League. With Vijay on board, Chennai Super Kings promises to bring on great entertainment for its fans.
Friday, 14 March 2008
- Back in College: Chennai Super Kings (probable) skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has already made his mark on the cricket field. Now the wicketkeeper/batsman wants to get back to academics and complete his graduation. Read the whole story @ ibnlive
- Australians in IPL: The Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) has said the Australian players are likely to be allowed to participate in the initial stages(first 14 to 16 days) of the Indian Premier League. It is great news since we could see Australian stars - Mathew Hayden and Michael Hussey in action.
- India Cements Ltd was established in 1946 and the first plant was setup at Sankarnagar in Tamil Nadu in 1949
- Company is the largest producer of cement in South India
- Brands Owned by the company - Sankar Super Power, Coromandel Super Power and Raasi Super Power
The company is headed by Mr.N.Srinivasan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, the son of late Shri T.S.Narayanaswami, Founder of The India Cements Ltd.
Company's ties with Cricket starts from its Managing Director, Shri N.Srinivasan, who is an ardent Cricket lover. He is also the President of The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association and the Chairman - Finance Committee of the Board Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
India Cement was the first company to introduce corporate involvement in cricket, right back in 1960. They have been running teams from then on. In fact, India Cement Ltd. have got 12 teams in the Chennai league. They have won a huge number of tournaments in these years - 15.37 Bucchi Babus, Ireland Trophies,etc .
A Little known fact is that Rahul Dravid has been an employee of India Cement for the last 14 years. Dravid became an employee of ICL, even before he became a Ranji trophy player. Even now, he plays for ICL's leagues. The others who have played for the company include Sehwag, L. Sivaramkrishnan, etc.. All the top players have played for India Cements Ltd. at some time or the other.
Thanks to these cricket ties, India Cement Ltd has put up a great team in place. Now it is for the players to deliver.
Next Post: To continue this discussion further, the next post would be on the topic 'Chennai Super Kings - Zero Cost Marketing or New Business Venture' for India Cement Ltd.
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
- U-19 Players: As confirmed earlier this blog, both Napoleon Einstein and Abhinav Mukund have been picked by Chennai Super Kings in today's auction. But the Surprise was the addition of Leg Spinner from Vidarbha - Viraj Kadbe.
- Probable XI: Cricinfo's probable XI for Chennai Super Kings: 1 Matthew Hayden, 2 Stephen Fleming/ Abhinav Mukund, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 Jacob Oram, 5 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Michael Hussey/S Badrinath, 7 Albie Morkel/Parthiv Patel, 8 Joginder Sharma, 9 Napoleon Einstein, 10 Muttiah Muralitharan/ Makhaya Ntini, 11 Sudeep Tyagi/R Ashwin
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
- Shadab Jakati: I should have wrote about this earlier. Goa's left arm spinner, Shadab Jakati was signed up by Chennai Super Kings, a few days earlier. He now joins Uttar Pradesh's Sudeep Tyagi, R Ashwin, Srikkanth Anirudha and S Badrinath in the list of interim signings by Chennai Super Kings.
- Tommy Simsek: Sri Lanka team physio Tommy Simsek joins the support staff of Chennai Super Kings that already has Kepler Wessels as coach and Gregory King as physical trainer. [News Source: Hindu]
As an representative of the Chennai Super Kings representative shared in Cricinfo,
"We don't have any money left to buy any big player. And we have quite a few foreign players already in our squad and only four can play can anyway. So we'll go after the U-19 players."
Sunday, 9 March 2008
When Financial Express reported India Cements Limited's Plans to list Chennai Super Kings in the next three years, one of my interpretation was that India Cements Limited(ICL) is sending signals to Private Equity Investors for diluting their stake. So I was naturally surprised when I read about India Cements Limited's unwillingness to dilute their equity stake(in Times of India article).
Most of the management gurus teach that the natural path of progression for any start-up is to raise funds from Private Equity and then approach the public market(Stock Market).
4 reasons why ICL is not following the regular text book model
- Confidence of ICL on the success of the business model of Chennai Super Kings
- Huge Reserves of ICL, thanks to buoyant Indian economy
- Generally Private Equity players, in addition to capital, also bring management expertise to any start-up. But I don't think any of the Indian Private Equity Players can do the same for Chennai Super Kings
- ICL looking at Chennai Super Kings as a marketing opportunity rather than as a new business venture.
What Srinivasan Says
N Srinivasan, Vice Chairman and MD, Chennai Super Kings in his interview to Times of India says,
"A few private equity investors met me. They were interested in knowing if I would be willing to dilute my stake in the team's equity. I have told them that we are not in favour of diluting to anybody for the moment."
Unwillingness to dilute their stake clearly shows the confidence that India Cements Limited have on the success of the business model. As Srinivasan clearly explains,
"The valuation of Manchester United is £9 billion. The sheer number of people viewing cricket in India is much more than soccer viewers there. Assuming I manage to get 5% of that, you will know what I mean if you do your math. It is of course important that the tournament should take off in its first episode, which I am sure it will."
Saturday, 8 March 2008
Financial Express reports that India Cements Limited(ICL) is planning to list Chennai Super Kings in the next two years. ICL's Plan is based on the belief and the expectation that the franchise will grow substantially in the years to come and would become a major league on the lines of European and US leagues.
N. Srinivasan, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements Limited said in the interview,
“Our aim is to make the league as one of the leading league in India on the lines of Europe and the US such as United Manchester over a period of time. We are excited over the response from the public for our franchisee and the company received over 26,000 suggestions to name the franchisee,”
“Ultimately our franchisee will be made to grow substantially in terms of volume and value and it will bring a strong brand equity to the parent company” [and blah! blah! blah!... :)]
He also added the investment in Chennai Super Kings is a revenue-positive proposal.
Though some people would look at an IPO as an ideal opportunity for India Cements Limited to milk the cow, I personally would like to have an IPO as soon as possible. My reasons for that:
- Fans, in addition to being supporters of the franchise, would get the opportunity to own the club.
- If the Chennai Super Kings lists itself in the next 3 or 4 years, most probably it would be the first one to do so. As an result, the stock markets would undervalue the firm because of the risk and the untested business model. There lies my chance to make a few bucks.
- The franchises would start making profits only in the years to come. So India Cements Limited will be facing capital crunch for investment(working capital) sooner or later.
- At some point in the future, the franchises would like to have their own cricket ground, training facilities, etc. All of these are capital-intensive investments. What better place than Stock markets to raise this money?
Hope Chennai Super Kings comes out with an IPO sooner than latter.