The noise of clappers, the passion from the fans – it was a spectacle of New Zealand Ferns Vs India and New Zealand Black Caps…at Eden Park, Auckland.
What was the event?
The event was a cricket match and the atmosphere was a party. The umpires even had an entrance song. I loved the whole production. New Zealand playing India at cricket was nothing like I would ever experience unless I was in India at a cricket match. It was clear there was a sense of “this is more than cricket”. Cricket for many of are not involved is a sport that “nothing much happens” but I can tell you when the cricket started the place was alive. The atmosphere was electric and suddenly I feel in love with (the atmosphere) and cricket.
The stadium was full as the sun set on an evening of cricket. Eden Park, a stadium just outside Auckland 25 minutes on the bus from town centre, is alive and it’s good to see the seats full but actually no one was sitting when the drums were beaten and the balls were flying through the sky for sixes and for the fours…(me and the lingo…;) )
What happened at the event?
Well firstly I was educated about the spirt of cricket but much more than cricket happened. Families were together on a Friday night enjoying sport together having some feed and drink in a stadium that had views of the hills of Auckland and beyond. Eden Park was alive but really it was amazing to see who was here. There was families, young kids, older people but also about 70% of the audience were passionate Indian fans who were loud, proud and loved everything cricket.
To say I had an idea of what went on – I would be lying. Instead I will say I made great friends who explained each step. I made friends with Sam and Elliot, a couple from Christchurch who explained everything and also a legend called Henry. He was a legend and had such good banter.
At the time of writing this there was ooooo’s and ahhh..as the score was 148/5 with 18.4 overs – it was like a fraction division lesson for me. And I hate maths. The players of India were waving to the crowd and the excitement from this was amazing too see. While actually this was all at the same time I was trying to still divide and figure out what needed to be divided with what…
Two players running down a wicket pitch was never….oooo the ball was just dropped by India as the audience erupted. The atmosphere is epic. It’s taken me by surprise. The sold out arena is an carnival atmosphere with colour oozing out of the stadiumS the excitement is nothing I have experienced – and this is why I am doing this – escaping the my norms to experience experiences that are happening in our world…welcome to a journey like no other.
Of course there could be a lot of discussion about the fan experience, engagement and the overall event operations – which by the way loved the fan experience security and customer service team of Eden Park. But actually this post is about fans. The fans made the event. The sing and the sing more. They blow whistles. They dance. And they laugh. India VS New Zealand is certainly something special.
But one more thing. Tonight they have 9 6 runs…which means that in New Zealand you can buy 2 for 1 chicken whoppers from any Burger King in New Zealand. All because they hit a certain amount of runs…wow. Brand marketing right there.
One thing to take away..
Make the event a perfect experience and the fans will love it. This event, event number 3; has been an event that is made by the fans.
I will forever remember saying “Hey hey baby” with an Indian drum being blasted in my ear….and there is another 4 runs for India.