ESPN-STAR Sports, the official broadcaster and commercial partner of Nokia Champions League (NCL) Twenty20, has announced Shah Rukh Khan as the face of the tournament. Nokia, the title sponsor of Champions League Twenty20, also announced ambitious plans to promote its association with the tournament.
Nokia announced the ‘Nokia Ke Asli Champions’ campaign providing the consumers an opportunity to showcase the ‘Asli Champions’ in them. Select lucky winners will get an opportunity to be part of actor Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Champion team’ and watch the finals live with her. The contest will be running across the following cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata – between September 15 and October 5.
ESPN-STAR Sports (ESS) further announced that it would showcase the tournament to fans in more than 174 territories worldwide in 18 different international languages. The languages include Norwegian and Portuguese (for the very first time), English, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Swedish, Turkish and Hindi. In India, all the 29 matches would be broadcast live and exclusive on STAR Cricket and STAR Cricket HD. ESPN will carry all 23 matches of the main tournament with Hindi commentary.
Commenting on bringing on board SRK, Aloke Malik, Managing Director, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said, “Shah Rukh Khan is a great fit as the face of Nokia Champions League Twenty20 and we are delighted to have him with us on this fascinating journey. The promo which features Shah Rukh is already on-air and has received rave reviews. His participation is, however, not limited to being the public face of NCL T20. As a team owner, I am sure he will be looking forward to Kolkata Knight Riders qualifying for the main edition of the tournament.”
He further said, “It is a matter of great pride that Nokia India has come on board as the title sponsor. I am confident that this association will unlock a lot of value for them. Overall, we are delighted with the advertiser response on Nokia Champions League Twenty20 till date. We are well on our way to achieve our commercial objectives from the event. Nokia, Toshiba, Coca Cola, Ambuja Cements, Next Retail and Digiworld have already joined us as on-air sponsors while Nokia, Toshiba and Coca-Cola have signed up as on-ground sponsors as well. Over the next few days we will announce further names as we get them on board.”
Sundar Raman, CEO, Nokia Champions League Twenty20, added here, “The 2011 edition of the Nokia Champions League Twenty20 is set to be the tournament’s biggest and most successful yet. The addition of a six-team qualifier for the first time adds another dimension to the tournament. It also provides a record number of teams with a chance to win club cricket’s most prestigious prize.”
This year’s event features for the first time a six-team qualifier that will determine the final three participants in the group stage. The qualifiers will be played in Hyderabad from September 19-21, while the final 10-team Nokia Champions League Twenty20 starts in Bangalore on Friday, September 23 and ends with the final on Sunday, October 9 in Chennai.
The third edition of Nokia Champions League Twenty20 will see more than 100 players who have experience at the international level. Some of the champion players who will be seen in action include MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Munaf Patel, Daniel Vettori, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Jacques Kallis, Mike Hussey and Shane Watson.
The TV ratings of the second edition of Champions League Twenty20 saw a 35 per cent increase over the first edition. The combined rating (all channels) for the 2010 edition was 2.05 (TG: CS Males, 15+, Sec ABC. Source TAM. For Reach, TG: CS 4+) as compared to 1.5 (TG: CS Males, 15+, Sec ABC. Source TAM. For Reach, TG: CS 4+) for 2009. Even in terms of reach, the 2010 edition of CL T20 had an increase of 20 per cent. The 2010 edition was watched by 90 million viewers as compared to 74.6 million in 2009.