Sport above its stars?

I guess Prem has point when he says, 'its players that drive the popularity of IPL matches'. He goes on to point to the Chennai team not having any superstars from that state, yet having its matches in Chennai sold out. Yeah, I know Murali is a tamilian.

But the larger issue. Is sport at the end of the day about its stars and not about itself? I have heard many a times, purists (read commentators) pointing to sport being above its players. Is that really so? Sure its the politically correct thing to say, but then again, is it true?

What would tennis have been without the likes of John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Anna and Andre? How did Shoaib get Kolkatans to turn emotional? What about the likes of Beckham and Co.? In Japan, they have built a shrine for Beckham! Remember Mike Tyson?

Many a times, sport's not about sport but about the people who play them. And that's simply because we can't relate to something that's inanimate. We can, on the other hand, identify and relate to people, players. Maybe even the opposite, where we end up hating a player. Either way, its about the people, not the sport.

The lesson here? Brands must ultimately connect with people. For that, they must take on a form that's human. Sound far-fetched? Brand Personality and personification is ultimately about the human face and characteristics of a brand that helps it connect better, with consumers, who are ultimately people.


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