How Yuvi’s six sixes created brand T-20!

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Brands look for recall value. Moments become monumental. Icons and incidents with potential to get a golden lettered mention in history, get values worth diamonds in the “Bazar”.

With tremendous recall value. That value stays etched fresh in the memories of billions of cricket lovers 10 years later, even as the person who crafted that great spectacle is gradually fading into oblivion. Not literally. But, off course, by his own standards.

Cricket’s world governing body – ICC, the apex cricket administration in India – BCCI and Yuvraj’s teammates take to social media to relish that moment precisely a decade ago.

This was the strength of those six consecutive skied shots emerging from Yuvraj’s bat that in a span of one over has converted him into the biggest brand for the day. Put him on a par with the likes of his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Made him a strong candidate to carry Sachin’s brand legacy forward.

The hardcore fans will recall ball by ball, strike by strike those sky-rocketing well-times shots executed with clinical precisions. Others would enjoy ball by ball every time that video is replayed.

 “Cricket is really a numbers game. Fans are besotted with numbers of every kind. And of them all numbers, the six sixes in an over, the double hat-trick and the hat-trick are the most charming numbers of them all. When Yuvi did the six sixes, he actually joined a rare club. A charmed circle. A cricket cult. And that did it for Brand Yuvi,” says Harish Bijoor, brand-expert and founder of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

The then impact of Brand Yuvraj may well be gauged from Economic Times dated February 21, 2008, carried a headline: “Yuvraj, Dhoni set to supercede Tendulkar in brand value.”

The impact of those six deliveries has created an echo to give impetus to the youngest format of cricket, which then was at a juvenile stage. The purists and critics were yet to have the kind of faith in that T-20 format a sport needs to sustain commercially. “I had cherished that onslaught by Yuvraj Singh as a sports journalist, as a sports lover and above all as a sports person myself. There was nothing else to discuss in sports circles over the next few days.

“Then as a sports entrepreneur I did realise the commercial importance of that six-ball, 36-run commercial miracle. It did not just catapult Yuvraj among the top three brand icons in Indian sports, but also played the catalyst to the grand success of the Indian Premier League a year later,” says Ashish Chadha, Chief Executive, Sport Solutionz.

It was this day ten years ago, Yuvraj etched his name in the record books, joining the greats like Sir Garfield Sobers, Ravi Shastri and Herschelle Gibbs. As it goes, “Seeing is believing”- The world saw a flamboyant boy charged up after bickering of sorts with Andrew Flintoff.

That moment has since become one of the most iconic ones in Indian history. A career-defining moment for Yuvraj Singh. It was the fourth time in the history of cricket, but first in Twenty20 internationals that a batsman hit a six off each of the six balls of an over.

The flamboyant and careless boy has emerged as legend over a span of just six deliveries. Sachin Tendulkar was the biggest of the brand icons then. Yuvraj that day truly raised the prospect of surpassing the master. Yuvraj’s brand worth had reached in the range of Rs 3-4 crores, then second only to Dhoni. Brands like Reebok, Microsoft Xbox, Revital, Parachutte, Fiat and Birla Sunlife were punting on the Punjab lad for marketing glory.

Globosport’s VP Anirban Das had then predicted, “Players like Yuvraj are definitely slated to be biggest stars of T20 format of cricket.”

Indeed, he became even bigger a star. Eight years after that spectacular performance, when Delhi Daredevils had acquired him for an IPL record INR 16 crore deal. This is till date the most for any player in the IPL history.

Such has been the impact of this player, that even his life-challenging ailment grabbed headlines like an event. That one day has made a freek, careless player a personality synonym with success for a commercial venture tagged YUVRAJ SINGH.


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