Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have become the biggest IPL brand and a lot of its credit goes to MS Dhoni. Dhoni has been part of the CSK set up from day one. The scenario is now such that Dhoni and CSK have become almost synonymous to each other.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) May 13, 2018
CSK made their comeback this year after their 2-year ban but put the same magic into the tournament. The CSK side is known as a very dominating side and its history is full of glory. One must say that they have started from where they left. Their campaign for this season has been amazing so far as they have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the playoffs.
Harish Bijoor in an interview to Sportstar said that IPL team is all about brand and at the day performance is all that matters. He said, “A brand is about performance, and an IPL team brand, more so, is about performance greater, because at the end of the day it is about a championship and a league, where performances matter. CSK is a classic case of a team which, I would say, has returned from the dead.”
“The team died due to circumstances, or you could say, it died unnaturally, but the crux of the matter is, it died. Dhoni and CSK have an umbilical connect, which existed from day one,” he added.
He further added that the tournament missed CSK in those two years. “The beauty of it is that when it comes to a sport like the IPL, the residual brand value is very high for teams. Fortunately, the team was not out of the league for more than two years, and in those two years, the team was missed. In fact, a large portion of the followers of Dhoni actually went with him to the new team (Rising Pune Supergiant) he belonged to. Now that he is back again, the fan following is back with CSK.”
“Among all the teams at the IPL, CSK has been the team which have focused on micro-marketing. They have done a beautiful job in terms of fan followership, investing in all the brand cue that is necessary — right from bringing the colour yellow, deepening the colour yellow, showcasing some of the team-members, investing in whistle podu, and investing in, what I would call, sub-nationalism branding,” Bijoor says.
“Theoretically I would say, sub-nationalism is now larger than national cricket, where it is India versus the rest. With teams like CSK, Royal Challengers Bangalore, possibly to an extent, Kolkata Knight Riders — the sub-nationalism overrides nationalism in a big way. I think CSK has contributed to sub-nationalism branding,” he concluded.
When CSK returned to IPL this year, an emotional Dhoni had said, “What’s important is to go through everything with a smile on your face….but what’s next is what is important for us. We are back, we are back as a whole team. Thanks to all the sponsors…”