The recently held RCB fan summit threw up many suggestions on improving the fan base of the team and bringing players closer to fans

Royal Challengers Bangalore is one of the most glamorous outfits of the IPL. It comprises celebrities such as flamboyant liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, the team owner, spin wizard Anil Kumble as captain, Rahul Dravid as an icon player, and Bollywood heart throbs Deepika Padukone and Katrina Kaif as brand ambassadors.

It is not surprising that RCB has a solid fan base with more than 88,000 registered fans. The recently conducted ‘Fan Summit' in Bangalore to make fans active partners in the team's growth and promotion offered fans a chance to come up with ideas to enhance the appeal of the team, make it proactive, and motivate players.

The format of the summit made it possible for a select group of fans to create viable ideas in seven categories such as Go Green plans, fans offline meet ups, design and engagement of the club, player motivational content, social media and mobile applications, loyalty programmes and efforts to make the Royal Challengers website more search-friendly.

In the Go Green category, Praveen, who was named the Idea Champion came up with several suggestions, including cycling to the stadium and car pools. He also suggested measures such as limiting fireworks after matches, besides adopting and planting trees in the neighbourhood.

To motivate RCB players, Vignesh Sridhar wanted international players to consider India as home and propagate the merits of representing RCB over other IPL and Champions league T20 teams. Fans also suggested the use of videos, anthems, slogans, blogs and motivational kits to bridge the gap between players and fans.

The fans suggested that RCB should maximise the number of opportunities that exist in the offline space by assigning fan ambassadors to head their city chapters. These ambassadors would be responsible for co-ordinating fan meet ups in every city and will post updates in social media forums.

There was a feeling that loyal fans should get their due. Vinayak Sanjay felt that RCB fans should get “early bird” tickets, tours of stadiums and also photo opportunities with players.

The fans also suggested many ways to improve the RCB website. The summit saw budding designers pitch in for a new look and feel for the fan website.

A fan, Sachin Kodagali suggested that the navigation of the site should be improved with a better page design. Fans also suggested constant updates of player or team content during the season.

Siddharth Mallya, son of Vijay Mallya and Director of Royal Challengers sports hailed the ideas and vowed to implement them in the next edition of the IPL. He said, “Our first annual fan summit has been a tremendous success. We created a unique platform for our fans to express their ideas on various initiatives. My aim is to bring our fans closer to the RCB brand by providing individual ownership of their ideas.”