Star Sports ropes in Dhoni to promote Barclays Premier League soccer

Dhoni will invite sports fans to 'Join the Game' in an integrated marketing campaign, which commences next week. The campaign will have a strong on-air & digital media thrust

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 9, 2013 8:05 AM
Star Sports ropes in Dhoni to promote Barclays Premier League soccer

Star Sports has appointed Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni as the brand ambassador to promote Barclays Premier League soccer (BPL) in India. A keen soccer enthusiast and a Manchester United fan, Dhoni will invite sports fans to ‘Join the Game’ in an integrated marketing campaign, which will be launched early next week. The campaign will have a strong on-air and digital media thrust.

This announcement comes on the back of the sports broadcaster announcing the launch of Hindi commentary for the first time on BPL. The Hindi commentary will be in addition to the English commentary and will be available for over 100 live matches across the season.

Speaking on the occasion, Vijay Rajput, Chief Operating Officer, ESPN Software India said, “We are delighted to have MS Dhoni come on board as the brand ambassador for BPL in the country. We are targeting to expand the fan base of BPL in India by leveraging the iconic power and fan following of Dhoni to attract cricket fans to sample BPL – Duniya ka sabse bada league. The core campaign idea is ‘Join the Game’.”

He further said, “The launch of BPL in Hindi is in line with our overall strategy of pushing multi-lingual content. We believe that if you want people to consume a lot of content, you should offer it to them in their language of comfort.”

The BPL campaign will build on Dhoni’s love for football. The campaign has interesting renditions of how Dhoni is always missing from action and is glued to the TV sets watching BPL every weekend while his family and friends run around looking for him.

Speaking on the association, Dhoni said, “Soccer is extremely exciting and very close to my heart. I was a goal keeper during my school days. Even today, I play soccer as a warm-up game ahead of key cricket matches. I feel that Indian sports fans should consume different types of sports. I want them to be passionate about cricket as they are, but at the same time one needs to give healthy respect for other disciplines as well.”

Star Sports has aggressive production plans for non-live programming on this season of BPL in Hindi. The sports channel has started off non-live programming with a six-episode build-up show, ‘Superstar Football’, which focuses on multiple facets of the league – famous owners, top clubs, top players and so on.

In soccer, Star Sports channels hold broadcast rights for Barclays Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, the English FA Cup and England international matches and AFC Events. The channel recently showcased FIFA Confederations Cup 2013.

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