Fan Summit 2012
The RCB fan clubs invitee Summit 2012 held at Bengaluru was a rousing success and set the tone for the future. Will we have a Royal Challenger's Bangalore pub in Bengaluru sometime?
A red letter day in the annals of the RCB fans yet again. True to custom, 20 fans were selected based on their application for a whole new concept, the RCB Advisory Board. RCB is truly a fan club that stays connected to its fans, far and wide.
So there they were, from Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur, Gondia etc all arriving by a morning flight on Saturday, 28th January.
Our community manager Foram and her colleagues soon divided those present into four teams, to work as a group on innovative suggestions. The formation of the groups itself suggested innovation.
The first group was the Chris Gayle group who would ideate on Contests, Activities and Quizzes. This was the flamboyant group who, like Chris Gayle, would blow aside oppositions with their whirlwind suggestions. In the end, they lived up to their name, also ensuring they gave their presentation first like the West Indian opening batsman.
In the meantime, Master of Ceremonies Sridhar was a picture of calmness and togetherness as he described how RCB remained close as a family, while also extending it across borders. “Our players give their best for their home fans, yet become across-the-border celebrities. Such is the magnetism of Royal Challengers Bangalore,” said Sridhar, accrediting Dr Vijay Mallya as pioneering the concept.
Back to the groups, the second group would be the Dan Vettori group, which would innovate on setting up offline meetings. This group emphasized on the fact that a continuous rapport needed to be maintained between fans and ‘headquarters.’ If there had been any misses in setting up meets in the last year, it was all for practical purposes. With a strong conviction in their passion to grow as a family, yet viewing feasibility factors, they felt everything was on the right path and would be doubly followed up.
The third group was the Virat Kohli group, which was tagged with ‘fan conversion’. A regular visitor to the website or on the grounds during the cricket match needed to be converted into a fan. Much like the charm of a Virat Kohli, friends of RCB should be attracted to become closer to the fan club. This Advisory group represented the meticulous thinking of RCB’s skipper Vettori and would carefully plot to ensure ‘friends’ became ‘family.’
Finally, the fourth group, the Zaheer Khan group represented a tight knit, run-saving miser group, which would advise the franchise on content, such as how to position blogs and how best to give bloggers their due.
The groups had about an hour to discuss among themselves and promptly put their heads together before adjourning for lunch. Soon after lunch, they gave their presentations. Earlier, the gathering had the opportunity to meet Russell who has joined RCB’s corporate team so as to manage tasks related to the branding of the franchise. A South African by nationality, Russell did a near magic act of quickly changing from his Proteas shirt to the red RCB jersey, thereby indicating his fierce loyalty to his Indian connection. Well, RCB has always had a strong association with South Africa.
During the presentations by the various groups, one of the suggestions was to have a Royal Challengers Bangalore restaurant or bar. Some Bengaluru residents in the audience started to nod affirmatively knowing well how a recently opened English Premier League club’s pub in this garden city had permeated into people’s minds. RCB’s own diner would a totem pole, an exclusive place one looked forward to going. “Let’s have one for our franchise that’s even better, someone cried out in the audience,” to huge roars or approval from others.
Mind you all the time, there were reps to help each team tie up their ideas with a green initiative. In fact, the day started with all attendees taking a pledge to reduce carbon in one of many ways. Writing down their pledge, they pasted it onto a symbolic tree. RCB’s passion to create a greener planet has been evident in their doings and today was no exception.
All in all, a good day’s work. During the day, the fans also had an opportunity to meet with another Sridhar, Sridhar Rajaram who had only recently moved out of RCB but to a rousing applause as he seen through the retention of Chris Gayle within the franchise for the upcoming IPL-5 in April. Sridhar expressed his desire that the fan club continue to grow as it has done in the recent past.
The Summit adjourned as 4 o’clock as the fans got set for another event. What else, but an evening party at the city’s prestigious UB city. At about 7:30 pm the party got underway and Anil Kumble came to spend time with fans. Also present were RCB’s local players Mayank Agarawal, Ryan Ninan.
A fun filled summit and an opportunity to put our heads together. May our tribe increase!