Saturday, March 7, 2009

Buzz about Cricket!

I'm back after a long time. This time its about the buzz in cricket. India is a nation known for its cricket fan following and the students at Alliance Business School are no exception to that.

Well I am talking about the 'Alliance Cup - 2009' being held at the Alliance College Campus from the 5th March - 8th March. This is a cup that is held every year at Alliance, but this year I thought it would do good with a little difference. The Alliance cup this year had 9 teams for the guys and 4 teams for the girls, with each team having a 13 player squad. Teams are refered too by team names which they themselves choose (to name them FM 13.2, Mettle, Amazons, White Feathers, Mavericks, Titans, Spartans, Phoenix, Daredevils, Doubtful 11, Superchargers & Brawlers). The teams were given different coloured Jerseys, and as the matches were held on campus it resulted in good crowd turnouts. Infact even music was played according to the players choice thereby adding more flavour to the matches. Official Umpires were hired and the tournament was on its way. The inaugral match was held between a faculty and a non-teaching staff.

By being one of the key organizers-cum-commentator-cum-player I thought it would be good to write my views on the tournament.

The tournament brought out some of the best talent of the budding managers ;). There is complete cricket-mania in the campus with even the faculties and staff getting involved. A lot of banners, music, singing, drums, slogans, cheers etc. are in abundance from the crowds for the matches. The teams are seen practicing in the campus from 5 each morning before attending lectures. This tournament has infact brought the students of each class closer as they now have an increased sense of belongingness.

The teams throughtout the tournament have played with excellent sportmanship and have rendered to the spirit of the game (except for 1 instance which was taken care of effectively by the tournament officials).

With the Finals which would be held tomorrow between the tournament favourites FM 13.2 (of which I am a part off :)) and the Mavericks (1st year students) there is complete excitment in the campus. No one wants to leave the campus and goto the city for this weekend. Guess we would surely have a full turnout tomorrow with a crowd of over 700.

This tournament has done a world of good to the students who've got a well deserved break from the hectic and rigorous curriculum. It has also given me another opportunity at Alliance to display my management skills (especially the fact that the 7 member team of organizers got just 1 day to plan this whole event).

This event has given me an essence of being a manager in a practical setting, and it has also shown me the application of a few key concepts that I've learnt through my MBA. To name a few:
  • Importance of Statistical tools in making our own version of the Duckworth-Lewis formula to calculate the winner of interrupted matches as well as tabulating the points with a bonus points component even for the losing team.
  • Importance of Fund Management and Forecasting unforeseen expenses while making the initial budget.
  • Sales Management while pitching for sponsors for the tournament (Pride Forever campus store).
  • Negotiation skills and the importance of Purchasing when we had to buy the Rolling shield, medals, arrange for tents & music.
  • Importance of Advertising with an increased emphasis on word-of-mouth marketing in creating awareness and drawing crowds. The advertising done also resulted in creating the circket-mania on campus.
  • The increased need for good Services Marketing. This was seen in the fact that apart from drawing crowds of only the playing teams we had to draw even neutral audience, and for this we used music and enthralling commentary as a means to increase the experience of the audience during the match. Hence resulting in them coming to watch most of the matches.
  • General Management skills for the conduct of the tournament which would include time management and information transperancy.
So on the whole we can see how organizing a fun event like a cricket tournament can be made more exciting, more intense and be done professionally with application of conceptual skills.