For once, cricket has taken a back seat. Football is dominating the sporting scenario in the nation. The FIFA Under-17 World Cup fever is on a high. To the extent that an India-Australia cricket series is drawing little attention. The nation known of its obsession with cricket, is in the grip of a football frenzy – from the Head of the Government, to government, to religious celebrations, to corporate it’s football everywhere.
FIFA Under-17 World Cup Finals seem to be the business the nation is minting at the moment. All out to score on the opportunity. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has become the face of the Government campaigns. He will be there as the hosts set the ball rolling for country’s biggest ever international football event at the Nehru Stadium on Friday. The India verus USA inaugural tie has reportedly been shifted from Mumbai to Delhi as the PM wanted to attend the tournament opener.
The World Cup is also an opportunity to prove India as a global tourism destination. Indian tourism’s brand Incredible India is riding the World Cup. There are campaigns dedicated to World Cup.
From corporate to broadcaster, all are geared up to celebrate the mega occasion. Sony Pictures Network, the broadcast rights holder in India, will simulcast the live action in English, Hindi and Bangla.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) October 2, 2017
Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and his team-mates as well as celebrities from Bollywood are out on social media to share their support for the World Cup.
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) October 5, 2017
FIFA has released an official song for the tournament to engage Indian soccer fans across the country and globe.
The Indian corporate associated with the World Cup too is geared up to celebrate the association and capitalize on it. “The basic idea behind our campaign is that what will be happening in India over the next three-four weeks with the World Cup, we want to use the opportunity to actually kick start a football revolution in the country,” Adidas India director Hrishikesh Shende told insidesport.co. The campaign video shot at Kolkata Maidans, Delhi street and Goa beaches showcases what India and football mean to each other. It celebrates the spirit and joy of the sport.
Hero Motocorp, one of the biggest supporters of sports in the country, has themed its campaign as #PlayInspire. Somewhat similar in theme to the Adidas campaign, the Hero Motocorp film showcases the love for the game among the youth.
Hyundai is the official transportation partner for the tournament. The Korean South Korean car brand has also launched a digital campaigns to engage the young footballs fans in the country #FuelTheGame and #FootballerInYou.
Bank of Baroda, endorsed by India’s badminton icons K Srikanth and PV Sindhu, is celebrating its FIFA Under-17 World Cup association with fan activation programmes. The public sector bank is organizing various contests at different level and places – from shopping malls to schools.
— Bank of Baroda (@bankofbaroda) September 25, 2017
The broadcast rights holder Sony Pictures India Network will bring the live football action to billions of Indian football fans with simulcast of English, Hindi and Bangla feeds. The tournament, slated from 6 October and 28 October, will be live in English on SONY TEN 2, SONY TEN 2 HD, SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD channels. For Hindi and Bengali language feeds tune in to SONY TEN 3 and SONY TEN 3 HD channels.