Are you Enjoying the Ride?
You have come out to support us by buying match days tickets. You are buying our lifestyle merchandise at the stadium and at UB City regularly and you are already asking for more. You supported and applauded our Force India F1 drivers when they visited during our Pune Warriors match and even an unfortunate fire prior to a match was not enough to dampen the fires burning in the bellies of RCB fans. AB De Villiers also chose this wonderful country (at the Taj Mahal in Agra) to propose to his girlfriend. Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Dan Vettori was our proudly chosen faces for promoting Earth Hour.
Our CSK matches were eventful to say the least. The tsunami alert was fortunately averted but came in the form of an over of 28 (from a fellow South African, Albie Morkel) who took the game away from us in Chennai, while rain ruined our would-be revenge in Bangalore. Nevertheless it was heart-warming and awesome to see our fans faithfully remaining in the stands in the hopes that they would see a ball bowled. Unfortunately it was not to be.
Look out for Dr Vijay Mallya sporting our Chris Gayle dreadlock bandana. I urge you to get yours sooner rather than later because we may initiate a fan photograph prize at each match going forward. You could become the lucky fan who receives royal treatment by just wearing our merchandise.
I am encouraged by the passion of our loyal fans every week as I go through your letters, received via the Chairman’s office, telling/asking us to consider this or that change or action related to RCB. For those who provide input (via Chairman’s office, Facebook, Twitter, RCB website etc), I’d like to thank you for your time, energy and thoughts. We have great players throughout our squad, an awesome support staff with extensive experience and, a management that is willing to look beyond the boundaries. This strong platform for success, supported by a passionate fan base that few can rival, makes for a very positive outlook.
Our recently launched Fan card is one of many initiatives in which we strive to show just how important our fans are in the RCB family. Only a limited number of fans have received a Fan card so far because it is currently given to the real “die hard” - RCB supporters who actively engage with RCB on a regular basis. Those who tweet, regularly, post-on our FB page, upload the Sid Mallya's “No boundaries” show, buy match tickets through Spiritzandmore.com and royalchallengers.com websites etc. Over time, the fan card value will increase as we include more discount offers through our wonderful partners, sponsors and suppliers. I urge all fans to actively engage with RCB through our digital platform so that our Fan card base grows and the fire for RCB continues to glow throughout the year.
Our merchandise sales at the stadium and UB City have gone from strength to strength. Regrettably we’ve had some backend issues with our online platform so on-line merchandise sales have not been possible as yet, but we hope to sort these out before month end. We are working hard to ensure that very soon all our fans around the country and the world will be able to purchase RCB merchandise on-line.
I am delighted to announce that Flying Machine has signed up as our official Jeanswear partner and that Via.com - a travel and e-commerce platform - has also come on board as a new sponsor. We hope that the relationship with both will be a long-lasting one and we seek to create opportunities so that you - our fans - can benefit from these associations. Lookout for your RCB players who will play starring roles in our sponsors ‘new advertising campaigns – on TV, websites and billboards. We are proud to be the number 1 franchise choice for these strong brands.
So what’s next? What does the month of May hold? You are in for a treat! Our Green match will be played on 14 May at 4pm against the Mumbai Indians. RCB will also take part in a 6-hitting competition against Deccan Chargers in Hyderbad. So stay tuned to Sony Max to see our big strikers try and hit the furthest six. Will it be AB or Gayle or will Tiwary or Mayank surprise us? We have so many capable and able cricketers in our squad. Who will reign supreme with sixes? However, please take care in the stands and watch the ball. It is hard and it will cause damage. You’d have seen the injury to the little girl (broken nose) that was hit by a Chris Gayle six. Fortunately, she is recovering well and was pleased to receive a visit, well wishes and gifts from Chris himself and Sid Mallya our owner.
The RCB hot air balloon also takes to the skies in early May. Listen to Radio FM and Big FM for more information as to how you could become a lucky listener and join a player and/or celebrity or two for an “above-the-ground” experience.
A few birthdays will be celebrated in May in our squad - another year older, and hopefully another year wiser. The Signature after-match parties have been a real success and those in May will be no different. You may also see some of our young future stars strut their stuff on the catwalk. The Chinnaswamy stadium will host an IPL playoff qualifier or eliminator (either 22 or 23 May).
As we head into the business-end of the tournament, anyone of the nine teams can still qualify for the top 4 positions. Your support is more vital than ever to help us achieve our goal of reaching the playoffs. I sincerely hope that you will continue to be our voice and the fire will grow even stronger.
VP-Commercial Operations & Cricket Academy
Russell Adams, VP-Commercial Operations and Cricket Academy at Royal Challengers Bangalore. Former KKR Venue Manager (Eden Gardens) and consultant of their CSR/Cricket Academy. A South African born in Cape Town and former Cricket Manager of the Western Province Cricket Association. He was the Team and Operations Manager of the Nashua Cape Cobras cricket franchise and was appointed the Project Manager at Newlands Cricket Ground for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 South Africa 2007 tournament.