India might not be fighting for a title in FIFA World Cup 2006, but this tournament has attracted its share of attention in the Indian media, given the initiatives that the Indian print dailies and other niche publications have lined up to cover the World Cup.
Front runners like The Times of India, which had begun a countdown for the World Cup, continues to bring in World Cup coverage. Sister concern Mumbai Mirror, however, has taken the special route on this one. The daily has begun a 16-page supplement ‘Football Fever’, which gives a complete analysis of previous day’s matches for the period June 9, 2006 to July 10, 2006. The supplement is priced at Re 1.
Not to be left behind, Daily News & Analysis has come up with a standalone 16-page soccer special tabloid, available for Re 1, which covers all the three matches of the previous day, with special in-depth analysis of the last match ending at 2:30 am.
An official communiqué stated, “The soccer special tabloid will give news, views, reviews and all the excitement that a football lover can dream of. The stand alone tabloid will be available every morning for the whole month giving heed to the football fever.”
The tabloid comprises a front header, which has the lead picture with previous day’s top matches and the score line. There are six pages of ‘second to n‘one’, which offer the readers with supplementary stories, formation graphs, match stats of the top matches of the day with the top team inclusive of names and photos of the top goal scorers, points table, etc.
Another two pages are dedicated to a section, ‘Here we ‘go’al’. This attempts to showcase the soccer frenzy with photos and stories from across Germany and how Mumbaiites view the matches, with their thoughts. In addition to this, there are another four pages of the players that would be on the regular matches.
The two-paged penultimate round section covers other important sporting events like the India-West Indies Test series, French Open, Wimbledon. The communiqué further said, “We will cover the same from the first ball till the last ball in these pages, making this a wholesome read for the overall sports fanatics.”
The last page, ‘The last kick’, is on soccer again, dedicated to the player of the day, his stats and everything else related to him. A small section also has a contest where readers can win exciting football merchandise.
More initiatives are seen from the likes of Mid Day, where the tabloid is leveraging its flexibility of multiple editions to bring the freshest football news. An official communiqué stated, “Since every newspaper is trying to cash in on the World Cup, Mid Day clearly has an edge in terms of covering game. If fans can’t keep awake for the last match at 12.30 am, only an afternoon newspaper can bring them the 3.30 am end of the match report.”
In addition to this, Mid Day is also promoting the World Cup by giving away a plasma TV everyday to its readers. In all, 25 plasma TVs will be given away to readers. This apart, Mid Day will continuously engage itself by interacting with its reader through various contests, offers and promotions.
Another interesting initiative comes from IC Chip magazine, which goes behind the scenes to explore the technology behind the World Cup. The magazine aspires to offer its readers the latest in technology, and that extends beyond personal computers. But given the soccer craze here, IC Chip, too, has planned an all-colour 16-page supplement dedicated to the World Cup. In this supplement, it takes a behind-the-scenes look at the technology driving football’s finest event.
The content’s focus is on how technology is an enabler for the World Cup, moments of controversy from past World Cup tournaments, where technology could have helped resolve never-ending controversies. At the end of the supplement, there’s a run down of what you can expect in this season’s tournament.