Sports leagues are fast turn­ing into play­fields for film pro­mo­tions

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Sahil Ma­goo sahil. ma­goo@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

Move over re­al­ity shows and pro­mo­tional events; sports leagues seem to be the latest stage for film pub­lic­ity these days.

What be­gan dur­ing the Cricket World Cup ear­lier this year when ac­tor Sal­man Khan en­cour­aged view­ers to look out for the Kabaddi League with the Mauka Mauka ad cam­paign, has led on to a much big­ger phe­nom­e­non.

In the new ads for the league, Sal­man draws a con­nect be­tween his new re­lease, Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan, and Kabaddi. “Zindagi do paalon ka khel hai, ek ja­haan hum khade hain aur ek ja­haan humein jaana hai ... bas ek line cross karni hai,” he says, urg­ing view­ers to watch his up­com­ing movie as well as the league.

Ac­tor Ajay Devgn has gone the same way to pro­mote his next film, Dr­ishyam, with a video that draws a par­al­lel be­tween the movie and cricket, that is fol­lowed by crores and unites ev­ery­one.

Ex­perts say this was in­evitable. “The two Cs in In­dia — cricket and cin­ema have a mas­sive fol­low­ing. It is a very good idea to pro­mote cin­ema through sport as a lot of peo­ple are glued to their TV sets dur­ing live tele­cast. These plat­forms give films a chance to go out to the in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence as well,” says trade an­a­lyst Atul Mo­han.

Pro­ducer Sa­jid Na­di­ad­wala, who suc­cess­fully pro­moted the first two parts of his House­full fran­chise dur­ing the do­mes­tic cricket league, is plan­ning to pro­mote the third film dur­ing the league’s next edi­tion de­spite the league hav­ing run into con­tro­versy due to the re­cent team bans. “It is a win­win sit­u­a­tion for the sports league as well as the film and its stars as the over­all en­ter­tain­ment in­creases, draw­ing more eye­balls,” he says. Piku, Dil Dhadakne Do, Bom­bay Vel­vet and Shamitabh were some of the other films that were pro­moted ex­ten­sively dur­ing the In­dian Premier League and the World Cup.

Both cricket and cin­ema have a mas­sive fol­low­ing. It is a very good idea to pro­mote cin­ema through sport

Atul Mo­han, trade an­a­lyst

Clock­wise from top: The team of Dil Dhadakne Do, Ajay Devgn, Ab­hishek Bachchan, the star cast of Piku, and Sal­man Khan are pro­mot­ing their films through sports leagues

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