KARACHI: Despite encountering various obstacles in the promotion of their Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchises, the owners are excited to be a part of a new era in Pakistan cricket as the date for the commencement of the long-awaited PSL — February 4 — draws near.
Weather, time and, to a certain extent, security troubles, have all played their part in hampering the way in which the owners would have wanted to execute their on-ground activities and most of the franchise owners have opted to promote their teams through the more traditional, and safe, media outlets — TV, print, social media and outdoor hoardings.
“It is true that the preparation time was very short ahead of the launch of the PSL for us and the PSL management itself but everyone is trying their best in the limited window we have,” Islamabad United country representative Babar Hameed told The Express Tribune.
“Apart from the time, there are weather constraints faced by us and other teams such as Quetta Gladiators and Peshawar Zalmi as far as the activation of the franchises is concerned. In addition, security is also a major concern for the teams.”
Another major obstacle that the franchises are facing is getting sponsors for the teams as most of the corporate brands have already allocated their budgets to other cricket events such as the Pakistan-New Zealand series, the T20 Asia Cup and the World T20, which are all happening around the same time as the PSL.
And Babar admits that given the official announcement of the PSL was made in the last six months, these issues were bound to happen.
“This was expected. We are ready to take the hits initially because brands are not built in a day,” he added. “Hopefully the PSL would become big in years to come.”
On the other hand, Peshawar Zalmi owner Javed Afridi was of the opinion that the gap between the finalisation of the franchise ownership and the PSL launch dates should have been at least six months as that would have given each team ample time to carry out their promotion activities. “However, it’s a litmus test for all of us and hopefully we would all learn from it and will come out with a better strategy next time,” added Afridi.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2016.