Why Cricket's personal

Nothing in India gets as personal as cricket. This despite the match being played by eleven players in a team. God forbid, the Indian team loses to Pakistan tomorrow. If they do, logically it should be taken as the team having lost. But it won't. Instead half of India will internalize the loss and take it as a personal one. This will then be followed by a plethora of emotions being expressed including anger, disgust, and of course deep sorrow.

I wonder why? Why would Indians take the loss if it were to happen, personally?

The answer's simple. Tomorrow's match will be played as much in Mohali, as in Indian living rooms. There will be people in Indian homes swaying, screaming and doling out advice as if they were part and parcel of the match being played. One half of India will be watching (read, playing) the match in an extremely animated fashion. So should it be a surprise if they take the outcome personally?

Its things we internalize that become part of us. Part of our lives. Cricket in India runs on such lines. Its embedded into the Indian psyche. As they say, its almost religion. Now the marketing lesson in it is, cricket's become what brands want to be. Brands want consumers to make them part of their lives. Part of their identity. Iconic brands are those that have achieved what's cricket's done. They have wormed their way into consumer lives. So much that consumers draw part of their identity from them. Of course, this doesn't come easy. In fact it materializes only if consumers are willing to connect with brands at a psychological level.

The way cricket has. In India.


I think the reason for getting upset is because a lot of our Indians forget that the Pakistanis were once our brothers. Both our nations were called Bharat.
Unknown said…
Good explanation Prof. Can there be something closest to cricket in the consumer's mind? Any steps we can unearth to follow suit?
Unknown said…
for that brand has to offer entertainment and self esteem that cricket offer us
Ray Titus said…

Getting upset has more to do with us personalising the loss. Of course, old wounds linger, but history gets diluted over generations. Meaning, who's gonna remember the Indo-Pak story fifty years from now?


Will address your queries in an upcoming post.


More than 'offer', the brand build's an identity (not easy) that we transfer on to us by sporting it.

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