Faster paced sporting events. Can the shift benefit sponsors?


Vijay Mallya and His F1 Team

There was a time, when day after day the same spectators would flock to the same cricket test match, to sit in the stands and unhurriedly cheer their favourite side to victory. The torpid excitement would even stretch three-fold when there were more than two teams involved. But, this was also back in the day when someone who started singing ‘ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall’ actually had enough patience to finish the whole song.

Today, much like a West-Delhi Dominos order – 90 minutes or less, organisers feel there is tremendous potential and much more excitement in watching a short but action packed sporting event. Even the one day, 50–over cricket match, which always attracted a fan following, ultimately made way for the hugely popular T20 format. So fashionable did the ‘20–overs–hit–out–or–get–out’ philosophy become that it spurred its own international world cup and 2 different national league championships.

On another similar track – the recent success of India’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix. The, precisely 90 minute event racked in over one lakh spectators on Sunday, a rather modest approximation of Rs.60 crores in ticket sales and over a thousand celebrities from around the world.

When sports run shorter, every minute of play can be thrilling for fans. With the limited time, players give it all they’ve got from the very beginning, often resulting in a nail-biting finish that sends every onlooker into excited hysterics and every sponsor, laughing to the bank. The concept is followed world over by some of the most lucrative and entertaining franchises, like the EPL (90 minutes plus a little extra for stoppage time); the NBA (exactly 48 minutes) and the NFL (60 minutes regulation time). So when it comes down to it, it might just be worth a sponsor’s while to look into events that don’t necessarily stretch across days and involve heavy investments. 90 minutes is all they might need.

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