New Delhi: The raging IPL controversy has made both Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi famous online. But, only Tharoor commands more sympathy.
His spat with Modi may have cost Tharoor his ministerial position, but former minister of state for external affairs has beaten beleaguered IPL commissioner in terms of internet brand value, said a survey released on Thursday.
The survey by leading global research firm the Nielsen Company found that the popularity of the two is even greater than all the cricketers currently playing in the Indian Premier League.
The analysis arrived at these results on the basis of online posts in message boards, blogs, discussion groups and micro blogs (Twitter) across all cricket following countries.
Nielsen said that Tharoor and Modi have overshadowed cricketers in the online buzz, while Mumbai Indians overtook Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as the most discussed team. Sachin Tendulkar is the most discussed player.
“In the last two week the focus of social media users has shifted from cricket, and they have discussed Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi even more than the two most discussed players online, Tendulkar and Dhoni,” Nielsen said.
“The sentiments were negative for both Tharoor and Modi initially. However, in the last couple of days brand Tharoor seems to have recovered marginally, while Modi continues to be perceived negatively in social media,” it added.
“The controversy between Tharoor and Modi is so dominant that even players like Sachin and Dhoni have been overshadowed by it despite their performance,” said Karthik Nagarajan, associate director, Nielsen Online, The Nielsen Company.
The controversy began with Modi disclosing on Twitter the ownership details of newly auctioned Kochi franchise, wherein he named Sunanda Pushkar, a close friend of Tharoor. This led to a spat between the two and later a political issue that finally cost Tharoor his ministerial position. Now, the heat is turning on Modi with the IPL administration and various teams coming under the scanner of tax authorities for alleged financial irregularities.
Coming back to the survey, KKR were the most discussed team online at the beginning of the League, but with the season coming to a close, Mumbai Indians have gone ahead.
Deccan Chargers are the third highest discussed team, followed by Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at fourth and fifth spot respectively.
Amongst players Ricky Ponting who was the most discussed player online prior to the League has been replaced by Sachin in the current season. Sachin is followed by Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Shane Warne and Rahul Dravid.