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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh - 8 ideas for your business!

How is your business gearing up for the greatest cricketing event of the world when it kicks off in Dhaka on February 17th? As the cricket lovers from all around the world will either get glued to their TVs, computers and phones to get latest updates from the grounds of the sub-continent and while many of them will arrive in person to root for their favourite teams – how as a Bangladeshi business, you are preparing yourself not only to cash in on the opportunity but also to play some role whatsoever in upholding the local norms, cultures and traditions to the world media, to visitors in Bangladesh and to viewers abroad?

Might be a good idea to steer clear of the controversies and chaos ahead of the big event next month. Already quite a lot of chaos has been reported in relation to clashes for tickets, regarding the event managers of the opening ceremony and their involving Indian celebrities and the more serious concerns about adequate accommodation facilities for the foreign visitors. We can’t talk about all these in this post and neither we are in any position to provide solutions for them. Rather lets stay focused on opportunities. Not in any particular order or preference, some thoughts are as following –

  1. Reengineer, rename and revamp your menu

If you are in the business of food, takeaways, fast-food or restaurants, how about renaming some key popular dishes in your menu according to the cricketing themes, teams or even players? We already have seen our love for opponent-named dish items when we had beaten Australia and New Zealand in form of kangaroo curry and kiwi bhorta special! So be innovative and go ahead rename your cocktails as ‘Captain Courageous-Shakib Special’, burgers as ‘Tornado Tamim’ or spicy items as ‘Mashrafee Masala’. Possibilities are endless.

  1. Eat, sip and cheer

Again this goes out to those in food businesses, make sure you have TV screens, large and small, installed and supported by UPS to show matches as they are being played. Quite a great opportunity to lock in your customers to enjoy the match in your restaurants with specially discounted food prices for the duration of the match may be, or for an innings only or even for the first fifteen overs only!

  1. A win for Bangladesh, a win for the food-lovers, shoppers and mobile users

Don’t wait for the politicians and governments to flood our players with accolades and awards incase we steal some thunder during this world cup, you can do it yourself from your business perspective, you can do it early on and by rewarding not the players but their numerous supporters and fan from around the country. Announce early on through your websites, social media pages, or put up a banner and print in your menus that you will offer free meals or free drinks all throughout the following day of a historic home win! This might be your gesture to show gratitude to Tamims and Shakibs incase they bring some much needed glory for the nation form the cricket war fields.

In the same tune, if you are a retailer, the world cup offers you a great external hook to offer discounts for a day, week or based on a match by match basis to your customers. Its just a matter of how you show your brand to be completely drenched in the world cup rain and how passionately you want to share this spirit with your customers.

Finally, the mobile phone companies can always offer their subscribers free minutes or free SMSes incase Bangladesh wins, so that the good news can be shared faster and wider among friends and families at home and abroad.

  1. Freebies with every wicket, freebies with every six

Again this idea might work on a match by match basis and can be limited to the day of the match only. You can announce beforehand that every time Bangladesh is playing a match, every time an opponent wicket falls or everytime a Bangladeshi batsman scores a six, you offer a free coke to all who are present in your restaurant at that moment.

  1. The glorious cricketing moments in DVD

We’ve talked about this before in an earlier post. No occasion will be as great as this to finally showcase in the form of a DVD/CD the historic winning moments of Bangladeshi cricket and make them available for purchase or as prize items competitions in your points of sales, business premises.

  1. Patriotic marketing and patriotism merchandising

A great occasion yet again to print out t-shirts, mugs, key-rings, wrist-bands, stickers, photoframes etc. with the Bengal tigers on it. Even better that if you are a charity or as part of your corporate generosity towards the development of the sport in Bangladesh, you can decide to donate either the full or a certain percentage of sales to skills searching, developing initiatives for Bangladesh cricket.

  1. Tourism and sightseeing – if a festival doesn’t exist – invent it and have fun!

There is no doubt that travel agencies and the tourism board of Bangladesh are gearing up to woo the foreign sports tourists to various scenic locations of Bangladesh. Many among this group might actually arrive in the sub-continent with a view to not only enjoy great games of cricket but also to make a touristic discovery of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the same breathe, which is certainly a good idea. It might not be the best idea to compare tourist attractions of Bangladesh with other countries as we have what we have and we can change things overnights, merely can try to improve them over time. Something we can certainly do is to innovate rituals or activities at or surrounding our tourist locations and relate them to cricket in such a way that even after the world cup finishes, we can continue with the trend and festivities years after years.

For example, how about a beach cricket tournament in Cox’s Bazar? The format of the game, rules, prizes etc. might require a whole different post but the key idea here is to innovate something unique which doesn’t exist as a tourist attraction related to cricket anywhere in the world- or certainly not in the Indian sub-continent. We have the longest unbroken sea beach in the whole world stretching 120 kilometres. A fun to watch 20-20 cricket match at every 5 kilometer of the stretch over a period of 2-3 days might draw enough participants and tourists alike to visit each location for the fun of it, and thus discover the unique beauties of the coastal Bangladesh in a different sporting way.

  1. The cricket bat of best wishes

Although a bit late for this may or I am not entirely aware if anything similar have already taken place- but it would be nice if a massive cricket bat could have travelled to all district towns of Bangladesh where the fans could have signed in their support for the home team. If travelling to each corner of the country sounds improbable within a month then atleast visiting the divisional headquarters would be nice. In the end of the day, the world cup in Bangladesh will be more about the fans and lovers of cricket than about the players themselves. So the common public have every right to be a part of this festivity from outside the stadiums too.

So just some random thoughts here, let me know how you are preparing for the fun with the bat and ball next month.

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