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IPL Final Mints Money For Pubs, Restaurants

By Shine Jacob, Akshara Srivastava. Ishita Ayan Dutt
May 27, 2024 14:17 IST
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The cricketing extravaganza became a business opportunity for everyone, from five-star hotels to cafes to street vendors across the country on Sunday.

IMAGE: Sunrisers Hyderabad Captain Pat Cummins, right, and Kolkata Knight Riders Captain Shreyas Iyer with the IPL 2024 Trophy at Chennai's Marina beach on Saturday, May 25, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

At 3:30 pm on Sunday, about four hours before the Indian Premier League Final between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajesh Naik from Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh, stood at the entry gate of the M A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai.

Naik and his friends had driven some 260 kms to witness the swinging deliveries of Mitchell Starc, the classical wristy shots of Shreyas Iyer, the mighty sixes of Heinrich Klaasen, and many other iconic players in action.

Naik was not alone. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, the country was united by cricket yet divided by the allegiance to SRH and KKR.

The buzz around the IPL final in Chennai was marred by the impending Cyclone Remal.

IMAGE: Sunrisers Hyderabad fans at the M A Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, May 26, 2024. Photograph: BCCI

The cricketing extravaganza, with a brand value of $11 billion, turned out to be not just a fiesta for cricket lovers.

It became a business opportunity for everyone, from five-star hotels to cafes to street vendors, across the country on Sunday.

When the match started, more than 20 million people were watching it on JioCinema, and another 500 to 600 million were expected to have seen it on Star Sports.

IPL 2023 had registered 505 million viewers on television.

IMAGE: SRH cheerleaders cheer the team. Photograph: BCCI

In terms of business generated, consider the cases of Praveen Kumar, a vendor selling jerseys outside Chepauk stadium, and Virat Kohli's restaurant chain, One8 Commune.

Kumar, who was selling jerseys at Rs 200 each, indicated that his sales doubled on the final day. Meanwhile, the One8 Commune restaurants in Mumbai and Hyderabad were packed on Sunday night.

Not just for Kohli and Kumar, Sunday's high-decibel match turned out to be profitable for many. In terms of sponsorships, the value is expected to surpass the 2023 IPL season's Rs 15,766 crore/Rs 157.66 billion (GroupM ESP data).

IMAGE: SRH's Nitish Reddy in action. Photograph: ANI Photo

At Hashtag in Kolkata's Chowringhee, the excitement was high. The resto-pub had a one-plus-one offer for every over during which a KKR player either took a wicket or hit a six.

MS Bar and Lounge Bar offered one free cocktail shot for every sixer by the home team, KKR. However, Owner Sudesh Poddar said for the safety of employees and so that they could return home, it was decided to close down at 8 pm.

Poddar's other two restaurants Manthan and Songhai also closed early.

IMAGE: KKR cheerleaders cheer the team. Photograph: BCCI

At Wilson's, the pub at The Lalit in Kolkata, it was the residents who availed themselves of bucket beer and the special offer of a one-plus-one on select brands.

Kamal Raza, general manager, said not many people had stepped out to watch the match. Those who are staying with us are availing themselves of the offer.

A popular restaurant and bar on Park Street also said footfall was low because of the cyclone warnings.

IMAGE: Tennis legend Leander Paes enjoys the match. Photograph: BCCI

Pebble Street, a 26-year-old pub in Delhi's New Friends Colony, which screened the match for patrons, was fully sold out for the evening.

With a capacity of a little over 100, the pub was expecting to do more than 50 per cent more business than on a regular day, said Ashish Ahuja, director at the establishment.

Lord of The Drinks, a multi-city resto-bar operated by First Fiddle Restaurants group, was sold out in Hyderabad, home to one of the finalists.

IMAGE: KKR fans at the M A Chidambaram stadium. Photograph: BCCI

"In Delhi, we had started getting reservations at other brands like MisoSexy and Bougie two days in advance, said Priyank Sukhija, CEO, First Fiddle Restaurants, adding that they expected 30 to 40 per cent more revenue than on a regular Sunday.

Adding to the cheer, Bira91 Taproom outlets in Gurugram's Cyberhub and New Delhi's Saket were offering a 15 per cent discount on the total bill for patrons sporting the jerseys of their favourite teams.

With four outlets across the country the other two in Koramangala in Bengaluru and Ludhiana in Punjab the chain was expecting a footfall of more than 500 and a revenue uptick of Rs 50 lakh, exclusively from screenings across the outlets.

IMAGE: Team KKR celebrates after the 8 wicket win. Photograph: BCCI

BlueBop caf in Mumbai's Khar was offering a buy-one-get-one deal on all Indian wine bottles along with several combos, including beer buckets for fans as they cheered on their favourite team, said founder Eesha Sukhi, adding that they were expecting a 50 per cent uptick in revenue from the screening.

Fully booked out for the match with a footfall of over 500, the establishment was expecting a 50 per cent increase in revenue for the day, said Ankit Tibrewal, co-owner of Hashtag in Kolkata.

IMAGE: KKR cricketers pose with the IPL Trophy. Photograph: ANI Photo

In Bengaluru, too, the mood across the country was echoed with restaurants showing live matches witnessing full bookings.

While leaving the stadium area, Piklu Das from Assam wearing a SRH jersey had only one thing to say: "I have only one religion and one business here, that's cricket. I hope we can see a good match."

IMAGE: KKR Co-Owner Shah Rukh Khan and wife Gauri Khan with the IPL trophy. Photograph: BCCI

With Inputs from Ayushman Baruah

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/

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Shine Jacob, Akshara Srivastava. Ishita Ayan Dutt
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