On Tuesday, the newest member in the IPL family team Rajkot got its name — ‘Gujarat Lions’. There could not have been a better name or logo for the team coming from the state that has Gir Forest, the home of the Asiatic Lion! The name Gujarat Lions is also bound to strike a chord not only with the entire state, but also with the huge Gujarati Diaspora around the world, which is prosperous and a keen follower of the game of cricket. So it was a smart move not to make the franchise city-centric by naming it on the city. But the smartest move among all was to name Suresh Raina as the captain, says a report in The Indian Express. ALSO READ: Rajkot franchise for IPL 2016 named ‘Gujarat Lions’.
Team owner Keshav Bansal, who is the youngest franchise owner aged 23, has successfully managed to create a brand both for the franchisee and Intex Technology. “We want to cater to the entire Gujarati community and not just a specific city, hence the state-centric name. They are spread across the world and if we can market our brand smartly enough, we can reach out to them and make this into a huge brand. Intex already has a good market there. But we have to market the brand aggressively, build a fanbase and create a buzz on the social media. For that we are also holding talks with the Gujarat government for starting a cricket academy,” outlines Bansal.
The life is not easy for him, as his franchisee has a two-year life-span stuck on it, is ineligible for allowances from the BCCI’s central revenue pool, have to pay a huge sum to the home association for stadium and facilities, besides the logistics. But he is up for the challenge and wants to make out of it. He says, “My whole point is that we have to work really hard and try to make a brand and not think too much on how it will turn out to be. It gives you a lot of visibility and you have the opportunity to promote your brand, besides playing good cricket and entertaining the crowd. We just need to enjoy the two years.”
He is approaching the upcoming auctions after doing a considerable home work, and reveals: “I have been monitoring a lot of players over the last six months. We have a team working on it and now have roped in a team CEO to work in tandem with us,” further asserting, “we are not just looking at marketable faces or local players, but a hard core set of players who can win matches for us.” So far, his think-tank has made sensible and shrewd choices. But how long and how far they can sustain this will be the bigger question.