By M.S.Shah Jahan
No doubt the 10th Cricket World Cup gave financial gains not only to the cricketers and those associated with it, but also to various in business sectors. Look how the CWC craze benefited everybody. Nowadays in any sports competition what comes running first is the betting business. That way one can imagine the bookies would have had a good time throughout the Cricket World Cup, and the best time in the final game between India and Sri Lanka.
According to the media, with everything looked good for the Indian team in the in the home soil, punters favoured the hosts. Major betting sites like Ladbrokes, Betfair and Bet365 offered average odds of around 60 cents per rupee for an Indian victory while Sri Lanka was available at an average odds of rupees 1.50 for every one rupee. The bookies offered lucrative odds against Sri Lanka when doubts prevailed over the participation of Muthiah Muralitharan.
However, these odds were changed drastically when it became clear that Murali was sure to play and the odds on India's win came down to 50 cents and odds for a Sri Lankan victory went up to rupees 1.60. According to early betting patterns, the prospect of Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th international century looked great with a lot of bets being placed on him. The maestro scoring a 100 and India lifting the Cup was available at a combined odds of 8/1 on Betfair. Betting was also heavy on Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag scoring a century, with odds of 6-to-1.
Betting options & odds on offer
Indian win: Ladbrokes (8/13); Betfair (8/13); (60 cents in the Indian market); SL win: Ladbrokes (5/4); Betfair (13/8); (14/10 in Indian market); Sachin Tendulkar:Scoring 50 (2.68/1); scoring 100 (6/1); scoring 100 and Indian winning (8/1) and MoM (7/1) - all from Betfair; Leading scorer in tournament: Tendulkar (10/11); T Dilshan (11/10); K Sangakkara (9/1) - all from Ladbrokes.
Notable beneficiaries in the world cup were television broadcasters, sponsors and advertisers. The world cup final will go down in history as one of the greatest and the most viewed sporting event on television. An unprecedented 67.6 million people watched the gripping final that had the viewers at the edge of their seats in India, Sri Lanka and rest of the world.
The number of viewers on the final day, according to the data collated by audience measurement agency aMap surpassed the Indo-Pak semi-final that was perhaps the most anticipated match of the tournament for the subcontinent audience. The number of viewers for the semi-final was 67.3 million while the other semifinal—Sri Lanka vs New Zealand had 32 million viewers as the host team was favoured to win this game.
Incidentally, TRP viewership for India matches leaped from 3.7 before the quarterfinals to 6.4. About 53 million watched the India vs Australia clash in the quarter-finals. aMap vice-president Jinita Shah said, "Final day viewership broke all records. Every Indian was glued on to TV [so as the Lankans too] to see the big win. Viewership increased almost four times on Saturday.'' According to aMap, 64% of cable and satellite homes watched the game. The average viewership rating for the final was 13.6, which peaked at 21.4 during the end of the match—higher than the high-voltage Indo-Pak encounter at Mohali.
The aMap data, though, is an indication of the unprecedented viewership that the final clocked, the average time spent recorded on the match was an impressive 187 minutes. "The World Cup finals will break all records possible as far as cricket viewership or any other programme in recent times is concerned. Peaks could touch ratings of 40 and average would be higher than 30. Considering India won and it happened in India while the contests were well fought, this World Cup has given the sponsors the biggest returns compared to other years," said Ajit Varghese, MD of Maxus, which bought media for brands like Vodafone, Fiat, Nokia and Hero Honda among others.
TV advertising rates for the semi final and the final went high rocketing. A 10 seconds ad that was initially charged Indian rupees 300,000 and gradually went up according to the matches and finally it reached for 2.4 million for the India- Sri Lanka battle. Yet many multi nationals repeated their ads for every 5 or 10 minutes. No doubt for them the rates were cheap with over 67 million viewers.
Home deliveries up, beer sales soared in Chennai
In Chennai all through Saturday's World cup final the city roads were practically empty. But restaurant delivery boys were out on the roads zipping across from one place to another. The number of home deliveries showed a meteoric rise. With almost the entire city glued to the television screen, there was very little cooking done at home. Dining out was also not favoured much. Consequently, home delivery joints in the city found business booming.
A primary craving during a nail-biting match is for crispy and greasy fast food. Most pizza and burger outlets found themselves working at a frenetic pace to keep up with the schedules. Pizza chain Dominos found that the number of home delivery orders nearly tripled. Karthik, manager of a Dominos outlet said, "Normally our home delivery orders are around 120. On Saturday, we had around 295 orders, that too mostly in the evening. Fortunately, we have our full staff working on weekends. So that came in handy."
Business boomed in Biryani outlets with home delivery options. Among the most popular was the chain of restaurants of Chennai Rawther Thalapakattu Biryani. Syed Ibrahim, the manager of a branch said, “ home delivery orders tripled. On regular days, we average around 25 home delivery orders a day. On Saturday, we received at least 70-75 orders."
In contrast, many dine-in restaurants had a rather dull day. "Sales were low for us on Saturday," said P Yuvaraj of Kabul restaurant in Alwarpet. "Normally we have around 80 people in a day, but on Saturday, it was only 40."
Popular fast food joint McDonalds, which is usually packed to bursting on weekends, also found the pace a little slow on Saturday as it does not do home deliveries. "Usually we have around 500-600 customers a day," said Ajay Tiwari, manager of Mc Donalds, Anna Nagar. "But on Saturday, only 300-odd people walked in."
With the boost of food business the liquor business too went along. Liquor outlets in the city saw roaring sales. The demand for beer particularly went up and by afternoon most of the reputed and foreign brands had disappeared from most outlets. A youth said he had a particularly trying time visiting several shops before he could find beer. "I visited four shops before I finally found beer in the fifth," he said. "Even the beer that I finally got was a local brand of bad quality. But I was lucky to get even that!"
Mumbai chilled with beer after Mohali win
Let us see how Mumbai guzzlers fared during the Indo Pak semi final in Mohali, since we have no statistics about liquor sale during the final match.
Mumbaikars downed [or drowned in] an unbelievably huge amount of beer. According to liquor industry sources, the spirit of cricket seemed no less than the New Year Eve revelry. An estimated 70,000 liters of liquor were gulped down, with 60% of it being beer. "Cricket seems to be no less important than Holi and New Year's Eve. Maharashtra Wine Merchants' Association (MWMA) sources said normally, nearly 1 lakh liters of booze are consumed on New Year's Eve and on Holi in the island city.
Sources in Ahar, an association of over 7,000 hotels, bars and restaurant owners in Mumbai said "Normally, bars keep a stock for a week, but that had already been gulped down and fresh stocks had to be arranged for. The reason for people choosing beer over Indian-made foreign liquor is due to the increasingly hot weather. Had this been winter, more foreign liquor would have been sold at bars and pubs." A dealer said the consumption of liquor recorded on the semi final was "mind-blowing".
Ludhiana high on chicken, beer
During the semi final, residents of Ludhiana enjoyed the adrenaline rush with pitchers of beer and generous helpings of chicken. Parwinder Singh, employee of Central Punjab, a liquor wholesale company, said the sale of beer in city restaurants- bars increased by 35 per cent as Ludhianvis preferred a drink while enjoying the match. Harman Singh, owner of Seven Seas Paradise, said people had been buying boxes of beer to enjoy at home with the matches.
City wholesalers said the sale of chicken increased by 40 per cent while the sale of beer went up by 30-35 per cent. Having gained a high profit during the semi-final match, all major restaurant-bars raised the cover charges for entry on the final match day. Restaurants also stocked up on the chicken and beer for the final match. Wholesalers, who had no marriage parties or big parties to cater for, also minted money by supplying almost double of the usual quantity in the city.
Bhupinder Singh, president of Non-Veg Association, Ludhiana, said “on the semi final day, approximately 90,000 kg of chicken was supplied across the city to wholesalers, retailers, restaurants and food streets whereas on other days only around 50,000 kg of chicken is supplied. The CWC craze has benefited everybody and as residents love to eat non-vegetarian food the business of supplying chicken has particularly gained momentum,'' he said.
Poonam Pandey committed to strip if India won the final against SL
While chicken business was romping all over India, in Mumbai a 20 year old chick became the cynosure of the whole country. Ms. Poonam Pandey, a young model who had already given controversial semi nude poses to Kigfisher Airline’s 2011 calendar, shocked everyone with her announcement that she would strip herself before the Team India if they won the Cup. ‘‘Of course, I am going to do it. But where? I can bare all wherever they want. It can be inside the players’ dressing room or even in the stadium.’’
Poonam said “I have got overwhelming support from the people of India. They are encouraging me. Even my parents are proud of me because I am doing something for Team India. They have no issues with my going nude.’’ When told that nudity is considered an offence and that she may get into trouble, she said: ‘‘I am going to take permission from BCCI. I really don’t want to do anything that is against the law."
Poonam said daring to bare is the best way to cheer team India after their win. Her Facebook said: “I am a New Generation Girl!!! Anything for my country to get home the World Cup. So INDIA cheer with me that we need 1983 World Cup back.” Poonam became the most searched persons on the internet. Her friends and colleagues on Facebook requested that she must strip with or without BCCI’s permission. Fellow model Shweta Sharma posted: “Poonam has to bare all even if BCCI says no. Please don’t give an excuse saying I will go nude only if they agree”.
Has she done it? Oh no Dhoni’s boys are not that lucky. Poonam now says Paris is the right place to strip as Indian law does not permit. One commented she could invite the players one per night and fulfill her commitment. As an alternative she has given couple of juicy photo shoots. If interested check http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/.
Another interesting news is, lady luck has smiled on Malinga too. Ameesha Patel, a Bollywood actress, has expressed her desire in a blog called ‘Mid-Day’ to hug and kiss Malinga who will spend next few weeks in Mumbai as a player of Mumbai Indians. That way Aneesha, unlike Poonam, is sure to fulfill her desire. Good luck Malinga.
No doubt these are mere publicity stunt to boost their profession. Any way, see what wonders this World Cup has done!
Finally a word to the Lankan cricketers. Don’t be dispirited. You played well in the tournament. I had the opportunity to see the 2007 World Cup too when Lanka was in the dark. It was your turn. But the trickiest organizers favoured the white team. Therefore stay or stand proud boys.