Why doesn't China play cricket

New soccer league in India : Indian Super League: Football with cricket

Football is continuing to colonize it. The eternal search for new markets does not stop with the USA, China and Qatar. The ubiquitous superpower of sport is currently heading to India. With the new franchise league Indian Super League (ISL), the 1.2 billion inhabitants in India are now to be conquered by football. India, too, should finally fall in love with the world sport. However, this is proving difficult on the subcontinent. Unlike in China and Qatar, there is no sporting-commercial gap that the modern soccer machine just wants to fill. Unlike China and Qatar, India has cricket.

The soccer business relies on two key advantages in being marketed around the world. First, it is a mass phenomenon; second, it has great commercial power. In India, however, there is no way around cricket in either case. The Indian Premier League (IPL), the largest cricket league in the world, is especially loved in their home country. The league is a franchise product and its financial possibilities attract the best cricket stars to India. There is nowhere more money to be made as a cricketer than in the IPL. According to the independent valuation of assets by “Brand Finance”, the league has a market value of over four billion euros. When it was founded in 2008, the IPL revolutionized cricket and "in terms of money, even football can no longer compete with cricket," says Times of India journalist Va Anand. The IPL can now also be followed in the USA.

If you want to make football the market leader in India, you don't have to fight against cricket, but according to cricket rules. That is exactly what the ISL does. Like the IPL cricket league, the new soccer league is also a franchise product. As in the IPL, eight teams from cities like Calcutta, Mumbai, Bangalore play there - in almost every city where there is an IPL team, there will now also be an ISL team. Like the IPL, the soccer league also focuses on India's many regional rivalries. The teams officially belong to certain cities, but represent a region. The team from the city of Kochi is named after the Kerala region, and the Kolkata team's coat of arms features a lion: the symbol of the Bengal region.

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page