Star readies for Sachin mania; hopes to create world record

MUMBAI: Come 14 November and that will be the time when Cricket fans world over will be glued to their TV sets to witness “the little master” wield his bat for the Indian cricket team one last time at his home ground in Mumbai - Wankhede stadium.

This will mark the end of Sachin Tendulkar’s 24 year long career in the great sport of Cricket. Once Tendulkar had requested the BCCI to play his last competitive game at his home ground, the decision with regard to his farewell Test - also his 200th - was a mere formality earlier this month. As a result, the Cricket Association of Bengal, which had been promised Tendulkar's 200th before he announced his decision to retire after the Test, was awarded with Tendulkar's penultimate Test.

Star India has launched a unique campaign ‘Cheer for Sachin’ to pay tribute to arguably the best cricketer in the world as he gets ready to play the series against the West Indies early next month. The broadcaster is targeting to break the world record for maximum ‘Cheers’ garnered by any campaign ever across the world. Star India has invited Sachin's fans to cheer "Sachin-Sachin" and break the world record for a hero who has always broken records for India! And the cheer will be played on the broadcast network (Star Sports) as a tribute for the hero.

The Participants may register his/her telephone number to participate in the activity by calling the number, 505782717, which is valid on Vodafone (Rs 6.00/min), Airtel (Rs 6.00/min), Tata Indicom (Rs 6.00/min), Idea (Rs 6.99/min), Reliance (Rs 6.00/min), BSNL (Mobiles) (Rs 5.00/min) and BSNL (Landline) (Rs 2.40/min) telephone networks only.

According to the terms and conditions given on - The activity opened from 25 October 2013 at 00:00 hours (IST) and will end on 19 November 2013 at 00:00 hours (IST), or on such other dates and times as shall be indicated by ESPN Star Sports India. No entries from before or after the activity period will be accepted.

The response has been very encouraging with stars from Bollywood, Cricket as well as TV recording their cheers. Stars like Priyanka Chopra, Prosenjit Chaterjee, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Wasim Akram, Rameez Raza and protagonists from the leading serials on Star Plus like Diya Aur Baati Hum and Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai have already recorded their cheers. The broadcaster has also reached out to Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary (The guy who is often seen in the stadiums in body paint cheering for Sachin) - regarded by many as the biggest Sachin fan to record a special cheer for this campaign.

Speaking on the occasion, Star India EVP - marketing and communications Gayatri Yadav says: “For 24 years, the legend has stood for a billion…and now it’s time for a billion to stand for one.  It’s our time to cheer for the little master. We are honoured that Sachin’s farewell series will be played on our network. Our philosophy has been to take fans closer to their heroes because as the official broadcasters we play the critical role of an enabler. We are extending the invitation to all Sachin fans through this campaign to come out and thank the little master for a wonderful career in which he took Indian cricket to newer heights.”

Yadav adds: “We are aiming for the World Record. Sachin has made innumerable records during his memorable career; it’s time that his fans make this record as a grand tribute. We believe there cannot be a bigger opportunity for Sachin fans to show support and be a part of history in making as he gets ready for one last time to play for India.”

The campaign will run across the Star Sports network as well as Star India network of channels. There will be huge focus on the digital media as well to aggregate all fans for the campaign. The official Facebook and Twitter pages of Star Sports has been buzzing with fans commenting and posting nostalgic moments from the “little master’s past”.  The Star Sports website has also created a separate section dedicated to Sachin on his 24 year long journey in Cricket for India.

Star India will donate its share of proceeds from the incoming call revenues to an NGO for sports development amongst youth. (As a norm the telcos in India normally share revenues with their partners in a 60:40 or 70:30 ratios. The estimated figure for the donations going towards the NGO could well be running into a few million rupees)

Star India is pulling out all the stops to make the India West Indies series memorable. Additionally, the broadcaster will use a special FanCam enabling fans to say "I was there" as they enjoy the historic moment.

The Fan Cam is capable of generating 360 degree extremely high resolution photo of the stadium therefore each and every fan who will be fortunate to be at the stadium on any of the Test match days will be able to zoom into his picture and keep this memory with him for posterity.

On the programming front, a 10 part documentary series will be dedicated to Sachin - Sachin Ka Safar and The Sachin Journey in Hindi and English language respectively which will be telecast in the month of November. There will be a live show on Sachin - Sachiiiiiiin… Sachin - that will be telecast during the series. A special 24 segment series Sachin Years will also be showcased in the run-up to the historic series. A segment will be dedicated to each of Sachin’s 24 years of international cricket.

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