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Song and dance of cricket

Maitreyee Handique | January 22, 2003

Major music companies are all set to ride the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 hype and storm the Rs 700-800 crore (Rs 7-8 billion) Indian music market.

Three music majors are bringing out 'motivation music' cassettes and CDs to keep the Indian cricketers' spirits and performances high when they play the World Cup in South Africa next month.

Mumbai-based Nirvana Music, a subsidiary of Nimbus Communications, which is the World Cup airtime marketing agent for Doordarshan, will release Khel Re on Republic Day eve.

While the Rs 15-crore (Rs 150 million) Virgin Records India released its first Hindi film music album Stumped last week to time with the event, the Rs 60-70 crore (Rs 600-700 million) Sony Music India is joining the bandwagon with its compilation album Chalo India.

"This is a once-in-four-years opportunity and we have focused on bringing out the passion and achievement of dreams," says Rahul Guha, business head, Nirvana Music.

Cassettes and CDs, priced at Rs 55 and Rs 150 respectively, will feature performers such as Jatin-Lalit, Lalit Sen, Rajesh Roshan, Sajid-Wajid in the 12-song collaborative album, currently on air on FM channels, while the videos will be shown on music channels this week.

The six-month-old company has already spent close to Rs 40 lakh (Rs 4 million) on its second album, and hopes to market 1,00,000 cassettes and 10,000 CDs in India and abroad.

Apart from songs by Vasundhara Das and Sudesh Bhonsle, the album will also have the ICC Cup official song Welcome, for which the company has the exclusive rights in South Asia.

"Khel Re is the official music album and we have procured the music rights from the official licensor for South Asia to be associated with the World Cup for music in South Asia," says Guha.

While Chalo India will feature old Bollywood hits like Chale chalo (from Lagaan) and Jo jita wohi Sikandar, Stumped, a home production of actress Raveena Tandon, will contain songs like Hum ko to hai pura yakeen.

For its promotion, it has an entire line-up of Bollywood actors like Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Mahima Choudhury. Stumped is Virgin Records' first foray into the Hindi film music segment.

Music companies set the ball rolling for 'good luck India' albums during the 1999 World Cup. The Rs 100-crore (Rs 1 billion) HMV Saregama came out with Cricket meri jaan and the Rs 20-crore (Rs 200 million) BMG Crescendo brought out Command India.

Sales of both albums were far below expectations: HMV Saregama sold only 30,000 units, while BMG Crescendo barely managed 15,000.

Both companies have steered clear from the present pre-World Cup celebrations.

"The concept of singing for teams was new in the Indian market, one reason possibly why it was not an instant hit," says Sanjay Dikshit, BMG Crescendo branch manager in Delhi.

Other companies are not taking chances. EMI Virgin has struck a deal with VST Enterprise's cigarette brand Charms, to sponsor a portion of the release cost, while Sony Music India, which has tied up with ESPN-Star Sports has already started flash advertisements in music channels for the Chalo India album.

Nirvana Music has signed up with Hero Honda, Doordarshan, Nimbus Communications and LG Electronics. The company also has exclusive partnerships with MTV and Radio City.

Companies too are grabbing part of the attention. Last week, Samsung organised an event in Delhi, where cricketers interacted with customers as music groups, such as Viva, performed for the crowd.

Earlier pep-up songs are also being resurrected; Rok sako to rok do, composed by Euphoria for Maruti for the 1999 World Cup has resurfaced as Hum, born out of collaboration between Euphoria and Mehnaz for the Channel Jamming album.

Star India is reproducing the number once gain 'with fresh footages of the cricket stars.'

But can cheering guarantee winners?

Says Palash Sen, lead singer, Euphoria, "It's no use organising these events as cricketers ultimately have to do the job as professionals. It just puts unnecessary pressure on them."

Nobody can deny our fans hope and longing, especially after India's rout in the recent New Zealand series.

As a character in Kaante says, "There are two things Indians don't like: war on India, and losing a game of cricket."

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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: Will somebody tell this companies to focus on other sports too ?

Why don't they do such a thing to bring up sports like hockey, wrestling, kabbadi, football, tennis ? After all this big sponsors can make ...

Posted by Satya

Sub: Ref:Song & dance of cricket.

I loved the article very much. I really think it's time people realize if this songs won't inspire our cricket team, nothing would. I have ...

Posted by Piyush

Sub: reply

your article is very interesting and go head regards, Narayanan

Posted by M.Narayanan

Sub: letter

Hi, The message from me regarding the song and dance of cricket is a mere waste of money spent for nothing and our cricket team's ...

Posted by G.Somu


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