An apple a day can’t keep Delhi Daredevils from withering away

I love apples, especially the bright red, juicy, crunchy kinds. Not only are they good to taste, but they are full of vitamins, fibre, iron, flavonoids, anti-oxidants and all things good for you. Health junkies also say that eating an apple can wake you up better and faster than a cup of coffee.

Health benefits apart, apples are an extremely versatile fruit when it comes to cooking as well – who can say no to the cinnamon-lemony deliciousness of an apple pie, what would a Waldorf salad be minus the crunch of the apples and what would sophisticated bartenders offer twenty-something debutantes if not the appletini?

 But what I saw the other day made me feel sorry for these poor, over-worked fruits. Apparently, with all their combined health-care and gastronomic duties, they have also been saddled with the additional responsibility of being the official fruit for the Delhi Daredevils. I saw the proclamation on the side of a taxi – that a particular brand of imported apples is now the official fruit of Delhi’s IPL cricket team.

One of the biggest criticisms of the IPL was that this tailor-made for television version of cricket had taken commercialisation of the sport to new depths, but this really takes the cake – or rather the apple. I mean, really, an official fruit! Next they will be having an official vegetable, an official masala, an official stapler, an official – oh the list can go on and on.

But coming back to the official apple – what does it really mean to be an official something for a sports team? Does it mean that the Delhi Devils can eat only these branded apples? Does it make it incumbent on the team to be seen eating these apples a specified number of times while on TV? And is it a breach of contract if they eat an unbranded apple?

One can see a sports shoe company as an official team shoe, a sports goods company being the official bat for the team, even an apparel brand being the official T-shirt for the team.  But I guess now that cricketers are endorsing everything from underwear to homes, why should fruits be left behind?

However, given the way the Delhi Daredevils have performed this season, I am really wondering who got the better deal in this case – certainly not the apples. Who wants an apple that is associated with a team whose performance has been so dismal? This has to be one of the worst branding partner choices made by a company ever. I just hope the Delhi Daredevils got some free apples because that is all they are likely to take home with them at the end of this season.

Soni Sangwan has reported on Delhi-warts and all- for several years. She is now a Journalist-in-Retirement, dividing her time between watching her two-year-old daughter grow and seeing the city she loves evolve
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