Star Sports has rolled out its promotional campaign for the Barclays Premier League (BPL) which kicks off on17 August 2013. The campaign features newly appointed brand ambassador, cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni(MSD).
Following a teaser that ran for five days, the network released two promotional films on 14 August.
In one of the films, Dhoni is shown telling his wife (Sakshi) on the phone that he won't be able to attend a film premiere because he’s pulled his back during practice. She offers to come back home, but Dhoni tells her to attend saying one of them must. Convinced, she decides to attend the premiere. As soon as the conversation ends, Dhoni is on the couch with his friends, watching the Barclays Premier League.
The second film shows Dhoni with his manager. The latter is talking to a representative of one the brands Dhoni endorses. Asked for Dhoni's availability over the weekend, Dhoni asks the manager to say no -because of the League. He asks him to push it to the next weekend. The manager does so, but looks uncomfortable in the process. Dhoni points out to David Moyes (manager of Manchester United) and asks his manager to be as calm.
On the campaign featuring Dhoni, Vijay Rajput, chief operating officer, ESPN Software India, said, "The aim is to introduce/invite/ excite sports fans who consume a lot of cricket to sample BPL as well with an ultimate objective of expanding the fan base of BPL in the country. The campaign rides on using the familiar face of Dhoni to attract cricket fans to sample the relatively unfamiliar BPL. The strategy is simple - leverage the power of MSD as the nation’s premier youth icon to appeal to cricket audiences and extend a grand invite to watch the world’s biggest league.”
The network will also air the League this year with Hindi commentary. After having experimented with this a few seasons ago, it plans to have it going through the season this year.
Rajput explained, "The launch of BPL in Hindi is in line with our overall strategy of pushing multi-lingual content. The focus on English commentary/graphics by sports broadcasters till date has been a big deterrent in the growth in viewership. We believe that if you want people to consume a lot of content, you should offer it to them in their language of comfort. India has about 125 million people who speak English as compared to 400 million viewers who understand Hindi."
Brand: Barclays Premier League
Creative: Star Sports in-house team
Production house: Electric Dreams Film Company