A few months ago I was in the India On Track office and the team was discussing the upcoming LaLiga screening of El Clasico that was planned to take place in Delhi on December 23. India On Track organized El Clasico screenings for LaLiga in the past with great success. About 12,000 people showed up to the one in Delhi and 3,000 in Mumbai as it was a smaller facility.
During that meeting I was told that this year’s target was 15,000 and I was secretly wondering if that many Delhites would show up to an open ground in Okhla on cold December evening to watch a match that they could watch on TV in the comforts of their own homes.
Fast forward a few months, it’s 7:30am, I’m sitting in trailer parked in the middle of massive ground in Okhla, a part of Delhi I rarely ever visit. It’s early, cold, slightly dark and there is still so much work to be done to get the place set up for the screening later in the day. As the whole IOT team works diligently through the day, I play my role of organzizing the VIP area while still wondering how many people will actually turn up for the event.
Fast forward a few hours, it’s now 4:00pm and the gates open and I just see thousands of passionate football supporters running towards the massive screen. I can’t believe my eyes. Then I walk outside and see a queue that is kilometres long full of people so excited to get into the ground. By the time the match started at 5:15pm, the entire ground is packed to the brim and there are well over 15,000 people in attendance.
The whole evening was a blast. FC Barcelona not only beat Real Madrid by a scoreline of 3 – 0 but it was one of the first opportunities I had to spend quality time with the whole India On Track staff. By late evening, everyone was in a great mood (except for Real Madrid supporters) because the event went extremely well and, of course, the expensive spirits were flowing in the VIP area (to stay warm of course).
These are the types of projects that validate my belief that if you organize something of quality for the Indian football supporter and market it well, passionate individuals will show up in droves. Can wait for the next El Classico screening….