When one thinks of cricket, what comes to mind? Perhaps a rather subdued and highbrow sport played with a bat and ball, with strong ties to England and members of the Commonwealth? Well, that may be about to change, as the Indian Premiere League takes a page from Cirque du Soleil’s playbook — perhaps the most recognized Blue Ocean Strategy success story — to turn cricket into a whole new entertainment experience, and, in the process, create its own Blue Ocean.
As recently reported on Rediff:
By re-packaging the sedate game of cricket to something with non-stop action, and by reducing the time investment that spectators need to put in for the event, the IPL administrators have modernised it. It has also converted attending the 20-20 game into a family event like going to the movies, whether you watch at home or in the stadium.
This, for instance, has increased the appeal to women, for the three hours required is something a busy housewife can afford to spare, as compared to having to spend all day watching the game. Besides, fast-moving games have instinctive appeal, which is why soccer finds such a ready audience everywhere.
There was a similar innovation that created a whole new entertainment experience. This was done by Cirque du Soleil, a Canadian company. They took the traditional circus, which, after boom years with the likes of Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey, had been losing audiences and revenues for some years. They added an unusual mix of elements, including mime and theatre, so that it was no longer purely circus, but something unique and differentiated. Audiences poured in, they loved the new format, and Cirque became a must-see experience.
[Image via Ron Layter.]