Bringing Cricket to Olympics: Needs a bit of Marketing Involved

First Gilchrist wanted it to be in the Olympics. Ponting too wanted Cricket to be in the Olympics. Waugh backed the bid. Mohammad Ashraful too wants it to be there. But Ian Chappel thinks Cricket in Olympics would merely be a “pimple on the backside”!
Chappel’s main argument is, countries like USA and China won’t adapt to a game like Cricket; so it won’t create a compelling enough demand to IOC for considering the inclusion of Cricket in 2020 Olympics. Hmmmm! Now, that makes sense why IOC is so keen in keeping two gold medals (guaranteed) in Baseball and Softball in every Olympic!

Even though it is highly debatable what Chappel is saying (Do we have to get the consent of Americans, all the time for what to do and not to do in Olympics?), I liked one idea put forward by him about “marketing Cricket to China and USA”.

“Perhaps a more realistic approach would be to expand the IPL model, with franchises in places like USA, Japan, China and Europe. That way, competitive matches are guaranteed in those countries and an opportunity is created for an increased audience for cricket on television in those regions. By taking this approach it would also accelerate the development of young homegrown players from those countries, who would eventually go on to play in a competitive national team. When that time arrives, it would be appropriate to start thinking about cricket as an Olympic sport.”

Interesting, isn’t it? Looks like there’s some business opportunity to be grabbed by someone!


  1. I, for one, tend to agree with Ian Chappel. ICC has been trying to market cricket in the US for a while now, but it has only managed to grab the attention of cricket-playing expats over there.

    Marketing cricket to the rest of the world is a mammoth task, specially when the game in not appealing to anyone who loves football, soccer or baseball. Cricket has not evolved with the times; T20 is still too long; no one has the time to waste for cricket these days. With the rare exception of people like us, Sri Lankans, who have more than enough time to waste.

    Any nation, in their right frame of mind, would not agree to waste a good day for a silly game that produces the same level of excitement as in NBA or FIFA. Arthur C Clarke once said that he couldn't understand why would a bunch of grown men chase a little ball for 5 days to call it a game. That's someone coming from the home of Cricket.

  2. 100% agree that, T20 is still too long to compete with NBA or NHL. 90 Minutes Vs 200 Minutes (if my calculations are correct). Apart from that, you are trying to market an English (or sub continental?) product to a patriotic American crowd! It won't be easy for someone to position cricket, right against an American national heritage like baseball, for example. We know how difficult it was (and it still is) to market soccer in the USA.

    But that's where the skills of real marketers are tested! However, I am extremely pessimistic about ICC's capability of doing this. First, they have to straighten up their conservative heads, and try to understand we are now in a new millennium. It's not anymore the era of Dr. W.G.Grace.


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