Cricket Super Bowl in South Asia?
As New England Patriots meet New York Giants for Super Bowl XLII tomorrow, there is the usual annual excitement among the football fans planning for Super Bowl parties around the country. In addition to being a great sporting event, Super Bowl has also become a gigantic commercial extravaganza for a whole range of businesses. For example, the media are the big beneficiaries of the multi-million dollar TV commercials by major consumer product giants. The consumer electronics stores sell a lot of large-screen high-definition TV sets and home theater systems. And the grocery giants attract a lot of spending just for this event. That's not all, even the furniture stores benefit from major furniture sales just prior to the event. In short, this event by itself creates a significant stimulus to the economy on an annual basis.
Last year, US retailers sold 61 percent more TVs the week before the Super Bowl compared with the previous week, according to NPD group in Port Washington, NY. Best Buy targets Super Bowl shoppers with 2-3 year no-interest loans and guarantees delivery before the event. The TV buyers usually end up buying more with the TV sets such as the home theater systems. La-Z-Boy goes after the couch potatoes to sell comfortable furniture to go with the new TV sets for the event.
Americans are expected to consume about 30.4 million pounds of snack food this year on Super Bowl Sunday. This includes 11 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 2.8 million pounds of popcorn and lots of avocados, pizza, and beer.
Annual India-Pakistan Cricket Games
Pakistanis and Indians are probably just as enthusiastic for major cricket games between the two nations. However, the commercial scale is not comparable to the Super Bowl. But my recent experience watching the Indian Cricket League 2020 tournament in 2007 tells me that we are headed in that direction. The tournament seemed like a grand affair with all the elements of speed, excitement, entertainment, glamor, and commerce. As South Asia grows in economic importance on world stage, I would not be surprised to see the cricket scene there become the greatest sports spectacle on earth in the future.
Sources: Denver Post, Associated Press, Other Data.