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The Heavy Ball

Why the World Cup was a good thing

ICCBod, a cricket administration insider, looks back at the gains and losses from the World Cup

Alex Bowden
Jayawardene: strokeplay, nous, monetisation  •  AFP

Jayawardene: strokeplay, nous, monetisation  •  AFP

The first thing to say is congratulations to India. By winning the World Cup, you have increased the value of replica India shirts enormously. Here's to a significant price increase with little to no impact on future sales volumes.
I couldn't help but be moved by the crowd's reaction when MS Dhoni hit that six to take the title. The wall of noise proved that sixes are the best thing about cricket - something I've been trying to explain to everyone back at the office for the last six months. I guess you can see all the market research you like, but a moment like that makes the case so much more strongly. Hopefully now my plans to have all boundaries brought in another 10 metres or so will gain some traction with upper management.
Mahela Jayawardene deserves a few words for his performance as well. Without his contribution India might have chased down the Sri Lanka total far more quickly and we could have lost out on a number of ad breaks. If that had happened, the impact on revenue doesn't bear thinking about, so well played, Mahela. It was a great contribution with a very real impact on the bottom line.
I know a lot of people who were heartbroken when Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed. Sachin could have scored his hundredth international hundred in the World Cup final and our marketing department had some really good ideas as to how to leverage that sports event asset. It's a crying shame that those ideas will probably never see the light of day. I think the uncertainty surrounding these sorts of events really needs to be addressed very soon because it's hampering people's ability to do their jobs, which of course has a knock-on effect on revenue. I don't know how people can stand for it.
I think we can all agree that it's been a hugely successful tournament overall, though. We won't know how successful until the third financial quarter, but every forecast I've seen so far has this down as the best tournament ever. Everywhere you looked, there was something to get excited about: brand exposure, cost per ad slot, merchandising - it was wall-to-wall good news. I don't know what I'm going to do with my time now that we aren't getting daily profit bulletins. They were the highlight of my day.
World Cups in India are clearly the way forward, and the good news is that plans are in place for a follow-up tournament in May or June of this year. The only stumbling block at the moment is the format. Originally we were going to go with the same one as this tournament, but it doesn't pay to rest on your laurels. One suggestion that has gone down well is that instead of having a large number of teams competing for the title, we instead have just the finalists and have them play all of the matches.
Every match a final - imagine that. It would be like Christmas every day (which is something else I'm currently pushing for, incidentally). Factor in the increased number of sixes in each game and it's clear that what we have on our hands is nothing less than the world's premier sporting entertainment product. Well done, India, and everyone involved.

Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket. Follow ICCBod here