Viru – the new marketing guru

Originally published in the Mirror Click here

Step aside Mr. Lalit Modi. The next marketing whiz in Indian cricket has arrived. And it’s none other than the Sultan of Multan, the Nawab of Najafgarh, the man of ‘See Ball – Hit Ball’ fame, the superhero known in some circles as the Jatman. Yes, it’s our own Virender Sehwag.

During the second day of the Kolkata test, Duncan Fletcher was sitting in the player’s gallery. Sitting next to him was Sachin Tendulkar. It was the perfect photo-op guaranteed to attract eyeballs and, not surprisingly, the camera turned towards the duo. Perched on a table in front of them was Fletcher’s laptop with the manufacturer’s famous logo glowing proudly on it. Nothing out of place in that picture, except for the one awkward sticker on the top right corner of the laptop that read, in very bad font, sisj.in.

The sticker could just not go unnoticed. “Wow, the Indian team has someone sponsoring even its laptop?” someone asked excitedly. “No, must be the website of the analytics company whose software the Indian team is using,” another replied. Within seconds, cricket viewers all over the country were punching in the website address on their browsers. And not one of them could have guessed what was to show up. It was the website of Sehwag International School Jhajjar.

Forget any sportsman, never in history has even a sports marketer conjured up such a brilliant guerilla-marketing tactic.

That wasn’t all. Later, VVS Laxman reached his 150 and raised his bat to acknowledge his mates. Only, instead of showing the face of the bat, as is the custom, this time Laxman decided to show the back of his bat. And guess what was stuck on the bottom of his bat. Yes, the same sisj.in sticker.

One can only guess how Viru would have prodded Sachin Paaji to sit with Duncan uncle for the photo-op or what he threatened VVS with. For now, going by how the stickers were actually upside-down when displayed to the world, one can safely say that Viru personally stuck them on the glossy surfaces.

Pasting stickers isn’t the only thing Viru is doing for his school. Viru’s stamp is there on every element of the website, including his picture from 10 years ago taken from the formal clothing brand he used to endorse. In fact, Viru seems to have also written the copy for the website going by how the school believes “tones of hardwork produce desired results”.

However, tones of hardwork isn’t the only Sehwagology on the website.

Sample this:
• A morning prayer that spreads peace and a special prayer in their own way (Only Viru knows what this means)
• The classrooms that say “be smart” (As opposed to the ones that make one smart, I presume)
• For ideas that float in the air (Ideas full of gas?)
• Where mathematics is easy like never before (Viru can personally vouch for this because this is where he finally learnt how to calculate required run rate)
• In the toddlers class, toddlers are just toddlers (Parthiv Patel would feel safe there)
• Where dance and music is in the hearts, and sports is in the souls (Viru, The poet)
• An evening prayer that purifies the environment (Wouldn’t it be simpler to just use a room freshener?)
• Candlelight dinner with teachers (Aww…how romantic)

Now, we finally have a good reason to have children. Just so we can send them to Sehwag International School in Jhajjar.

You can hear the Fake IPL Player’s irreverent and wacky live audio commentary during match hours on www.pitch-invasion.in

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