Where cricket is king: How one paper from India covered the Olympics

The New Indian Express, covered the 2006 Beijing Olympics from all aspects.

Surprising design packages were highlights throughout the Games. And it was the paper’s design editor at the time Deepak Harichandan (now design editor at Times of India).

What was the secret of success of New Indian Express during the 2008 Summer Games? “It’s sheer planning and hard work,” Deepak said. “We approached the big event from the out-of-the-box. And it had paid well.”

Deepak reflects on his paper’s Olympic preparations as part of SND’s Year-Long Conversation and discussion about Olympic news design.

Before the 2006 Beijing Olympics, we at New Indian Express, Chennai, had a detailed discussion. Then Editor in Chief, Aditya Sinha, Executive Editor V. Sudarshan, National Sports Editor Sidhartha Mishra and I attended the brain storming session. Our core discussion was how to cover the biggest sports event on earth at our newspaper for our readers, for whom cricket is considered to be the national sport.

Aside from cricket, (which is not yet included as an Olympic event) only football or hockey tend to relate to our readers. Indian athletes have played on other sports, but have not remarkably impacted to the international scene.

So it was a tough call how to cover this event to impact our readers in a way that generated a consistent interest.

On the other hand, in India cricket organizations like the Indian Premier League have established great entertainment events. And every newspaper looks forward to cover these event with robust analysis adding packages and extra pages to their sports section.

The chief architects of our total Olympic packages, our Sports Editor Siddharth Mishra, and I went back to the drawing room and got started working on this project, working closely together.

Our primary object was to create a mini Olympic stadium virtually in our paper, and cover it in 360 degrees. We created a product that created energy through innovative layout, great photo display, robust story analysis and choosing a effective typography.

TK Sajeev is the Regional 19 Director for India and Asia-South Pacific. His site is here.