The Indian Premier League franchisee Chennai Super Kings launched their “Kings Club” here on Tuesday as part of their brand-building exercise to attract committed loyalty from the team’s supporters.
Speaking on the occasion, TS Raghupathy, executive president of India Cements, the owners of the Super Kings, said the Kings Club plans to offer incentives to its members by way of subsidised tickets for IPL home matches, merchandise endorsed by the players and other schemes such as personalised interaction, including exclusive photo sessions, with the players.
“The inaugural IPL earlier this year was a tremendous success and the fact that our team (Super Kings) reached the final added to the popularity of the team. By launching the Kings Club, we would like to offer the fans an opportunity to be a part of an exclusive community,” he said.
The Super Kings plan to fully leverage the growing status of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who captains the team as also the Indian squad for Tests and Twenty20.
In his message to mark the occasion, Dhoni said: “I am happy about the launch of our official membership programme. I am sure you will find the club a great window to share the passion that we all have for the team.”
Raghupathy said the IPL was an unqualified success and is fast attracting global interest that in turn could be utilised to enhance the image and also the brand value of the franchise team.
Renowned percussionist Sivamani declared open the Kings Club and marked his presence with a rendition of the Super Kings’ theme song.
The Super Kings’ brand ambassador and also the chairman of the National selection committee, Krishnamachari Srikkanth said Dhoni’s stature was a huge factor in favour of the Chennai team.
Srikkanth said: “Dhoni is the Super King of Indian cricket and also the captain of the Super Kings.”
The presence of other foreign stars such as Matthew Hayden and Muttiah Muralitharan has given the team a high profile, he added.
“When we first launched the IPL, nobody knew what to expect, but I must say that the following for Super Kings has been fantastic. We want to leverage everything and the Kings Club is a starting point for our efforts to attract worldwide following,” Srikkanth said.
Endorsing this view, Raghupathy said: “The IPL received excellent television viewership rating (TRP) and we would like to build on this. In fact, such has been the popularity that we might not even require cine stars as brand ambassadors.”
Earlier in the year, the Super Kings had roped in Tamil matinee stars, Vijay and Nayanthara, as their brand ambassadors, but it is likely that the owners would do away with associating the team with glamour.
KVP Baskar, operations director (South) of Aircel Cellular Ltd., reiterated his company’s support and sponsorship of the Super Kings.