Of bringing the A-game: Kolkata Knight Rider, CEO,Venky Mysore


While speaking at the inaugural day of EEMAGINE 2015, which also marked a day before the Indian Premier League frenzy would begin, Venky Mysore, Chief Executive Officer of Kolkatta Knight Riders outlined the story behind the success of KKR at the IPL 2012 and IPL 2014 and the efforts that went behind rebuilding the team with industry experts who have built a business in the sporting circuit.

Over the course of last seven years, KKR has got a fair share of ups and down in its cricketing journey. For the first three years, the team started as the most popular and the most followed team at the Indian Premier League but faced challenges in terms of its performance. However, later it was granted an opportunity to clean the slate and rebuild its identity for the subsequent seasons. It started with recreating the team itself and devised a software tool to change the composition of the team with the right skillsets. “Instead of working with just the ‘big’ names, we decided to work with the right skills. We challenged the traditional norms and decided to do everything differently,” Mr Mysore said.

Quoting Shah Rukh Khan, Co-owner of KKR on ‘nobody likes to lose and nobody likes to lose in cricket’. Mr Mysore explained how KKR refreshed its stance. It created local partnerships with brands for activations round the year to keep the brand alive. It challenged the norm of having more than 10 brands under its umbrella and raised the number to 22 and provided local engagement to them and included them in the package. “ITC Vivel approached us saying that it was not looking for presence but only experience,” informed Mr Mysore.

KKR remained strong footed on social media too with 12 million followers on Facebook and almost 1 million on Twitter. What made all the difference to its activation was engaging the off-line audience of Kolkatta through outdoor digital innovation such as contests and building an application that allows the fans to cheer for the team via a mobile application. The key is to create stickiness and intensity for the team that will drive people toward the team, summed Mr Mysore.

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