The action shifts from the boardrooms to the cricket field, as 16 teams from leading corporates slug it out over the month-long cricket tournament – ESPN STAR Sports Corporate Challenger Cup 2002. This exciting tournament has attracted some of the biggest names from the corporate circles of Delhi including Gillette, Lucent, Microsoft, Arthur Anderson, Oracle, Star TV, Seagram’s and Hero Honda. Advertising agencies Rediffusion DY & R and McCann Erickson are also participating.
The tournament is currently underway and in total will have 31 matches with the finals scheduled to be played on March 31, in New Delhi. The tournament is being played on a round-robin basis for the first twenty-four matches and will be followed by knockouts in the later stages.
Commenting on this initiative, Manu Sawhney, Managing Director ESPN Software India Pvt. Ltd. said, “The ESPN STAR Sports Corporate Challenger Cup 2002 is a logical brand extension into the corporate world. Sports to us, is life! And, we are delighted to see so many corporates in Delhi share our view. The response has been very encouraging and I am confident that we will have a fiercely competitive and extremely interesting tournament ahead. “
The tournament is organized on truly official lines with a formal technical supervision team having finalized the rules and regulations prior to the tournament. Independent scorers have been enlisted to ensure accuracy. And, most importantly, first class umpires are set to officiate at all the matches. In Delhi, S.K.Bansal and Desraj are umpiring the matches.
Prakhar Singhal, Captain of the GE Capital team comments that “ We look forward to this tournament and we had played and won it in 1999, hopefully we can win the title again this year also.” In addition to the beautiful Corporate Challenger Cup, Singhal has his eyes on the fantastic prizes that are part of this cup. The winning team wins a fantastic holiday package while the runners-up get a gift voucher worth Rs. 20,000/- and the semi-finalists carry away cricket kits. The ‘Man Of The Match’ for every match, wins a MSN watch along with an ESPN Sports Kit plus there are other prizes too from Timex.
The ESPN STAR Sports Corporate Challenger Cup ’02 tournament, is sponsored by Hero Honda. The company has a brand new CBZ in store for the ‘Hero Honda Player of The Series’ and have also announced the ‘Master Blaster’ prize – a cash award of Rs. 500/- for all batsmen who hit the strategically placed Hero Honda billboard on the field. Atul Sobti, Sr. VP-Advertising and Marketing, Hero Honda Motors Limited,commenting on this initiatve says, “The ESPN STAR Sports Corporate Challenger Cup 2002 gives us an excellent opportunity to extend our association with the game of cricket on a corporate level, and to reinforce our relationship with our media partner.”
Raman Singh, Captain of Maruti team feels that the tournament is very well organized and adds “ It will be a good idea to hold this event nationally for corporates”. The ESPN STAR Sports Corporate Challenger Cup 2002 also has Le Meridien, Pepsi, Seagram’s and Alps Holiday Resorts as associate sponsors. Delhi based event management company ESP is managing the event. Sharad Verma, Captain of the Seagram’s team also seemed to echo the enthusiasm for the tournament “This kind of tournament could be done twice in a year instead of the current once in a year”. If the enthusiastic response and the initial matches of the contest are an indicator to go by, ESPN Star Sports Challenger Cup is living up to the promise of unleashing the cricketer in every corporate executive. Are you Game!