Experiences are meant to be lived and this year, it is all virtual. So, when Marriott announced their three-year partnership with Mumbai Indians, they ensured that the virtual route became just as gratifying or even more as watching the “men in blue” in the stadiums.
A 360-degree virtual arena has been set up exclusively for Marriott Bonvoy members who can avail the benefits by redeeming their points on the platform, bringing them closer to the cricketing action, and also allowing for private interactions with the team players. Sounds fun? Well, we got a sneak peek into this live session and it was a fun riot as three Mumbai Indians cricketers—Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan and James Pattinson bowled some rapids for the questions posed to them!
“We love the fact that we have access to the pool despite the bio-bubble.” —Jasprit Bumrah
The interaction happened two days after a nail-biting Mumbai Indians match which was played into two super overs and the players said: “It was a great game and it got extremely exciting at the end. We will learn from the match like we do after every match whether we win or lose and move forward.” That’s the Mumbai Indians spirit!
This year’s IPL is being played in UAE unlike the previous years’ when it’s usually held in India due to the Covid-19 situation. So, all the players have had to ensure their safety by being in a bio-bubble which is not only limited to the training grounds and transportation but also the hotels that they are staying. Mumbai Indians has been staying at a Marriott property and they cannot seem to have enough of the rooms, they echo unanimously. “I am hibernating most times. I’ve literally come out of my room only thrice a week apart from my training,” said McClenaghan.
When Bumrah was asked if he tries to get the other two players outside their respective rooms, he said: “There’s a strict competition between us on not coming out of the room. We love that we have pool access.”
“I’m hibernating most times and I’ve only come out thrice in a week.” —Mitchell McClenaghan
The players engaged in a fun game of ‘Would you rather’ and ‘Two truths and a lie’ with television presenter Samir Kochhar which gave a glimpse of the fun they have during their stay at the Marriott property. Taking about the Marriott Bonvoy members’ questions, the players agreed that stadiums are not the same without live audience however, when the tournament begins the men in blue focus on the game in the circle and that creates the energy.
Do you know that these men have a little pyjama party sipping on chamomile tea of their own or that the players prank each other by adding salt to others’ tea? Well, that’s what happens behind the scenes between games.
Regarding their consistent performance in the IPL, Bumrah says: “There’s no secret sauce, but picking the right team and training together and everyone knows what they are doing and they are good at that so we encourage each other which helps!” What about any pre-game rituals, one of the members ask.”I like to maintain the same routine throughout the game as I’ve had during the pre-game, it helps me,” says Pattinson.
As the fun question and answer session between the Bonvoy members and the Mumbai Indians players was underway, one very young at heart grandmother among the members showed on the screen with a big smile and an enthusiastic “hello” for her favourite team.
“My only ritual is to maintain the same routine that I’ve had during the pre-game” —James Pattinson
“I have been a member of Marriott Bonvoy since a couple of years and all their Bonvoy Moments and offers have always been great. Today’s interaction with the Mumbai Indians team members has been the highlight of my experiences. Very well managed by the teams from Marriott Bonvoy ensuring all tech checks were done, clear communication on what to expect during the interaction and managing the actual interaction itself!! It was truly and an amazing experience,” shared one of the members, Niyati Vora.
Marriott has had similar sports marketing partnerships in other markets too wherein, Bonvoy earlier associated themselves with the Formula 1; ATP in Australia for tennis and a football partnership with Manchester United and this is a great unifying experience for the team with their fans!
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From HT Brunch, October 25, 2020
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