Television

Sony ropes in Kapil Dev as brand ambassador for the ICC World Cup

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If there is one talismanic individual that represents India's greatest triumph in the one-day cricket arena it is Kapil Dev, the captain of that 1983 winning side. Sony Entertainment clearly hopes to leverage on that in announcing today that India's greatest all-rounder will be brand ambassador for the network for the next three years.

This follows Sony's mega acquisition of the exclusive cable and satellite rights for the live telecast of the ICC cricket tournaments for $ 255 million.

Kapil Dev will represent and promote the national Sony association with the ICC cricket tournament, starting with the ICC Champions Trophy in September 2002 followed by the World Cup in February 2003.

Said SET India CEO Kunal Dasgupta:"The point is, just as Amitabh Bachchan is the icon of movies, Kapil Dev is the icon of cricket and we expect Kapil to do for Sony Entertainment what Bachchan did for Star."

"We are extremely excited about our association with Kapil since it reinforces our commitment to our viewers to cricket and particularly to fans across India," Dasgupta said. "Max and Sony will provide some fantastic and unique cricket programming during the next few years targeting not only cricket fans but non-cricket audiences as well. We plan to make the association with the ICC tournament the most wonderful spectacle of sporting entertainment - a complete 'hungama' of maximum entertainment."

Speaking on the occasion, Kapil, all-rounder and the only Indian captain to have led India to the ICC Cricket World Cup title, said: "I am proud and extremely excited to be part of the World Cup fever once again, this time through my association with Max and Sony. The network's world class programming and ICC's plan to make the season the best World Cup ever will ensure that cricket viewing will never be the same again.

"As part of the association with Sony, I will be working very closely with the team to provide top quality cricket programming. We are working together to increase viewer involvement and interactivity, all of which is targeted to make this the best and most entertaining World Cup coverage ever," Kapil said.

SET Max executive VP and business head Rajat Jain, said: "Our association with a veteran and well respected cricketer like Kapil will help us communicate and consolidate our brand characteristic positioning and values. Kapil's personality, experience and following among cricket fans in India will be a tremendous boost for our viewership and distribution. We believe the association will enhance our offering to viewers as Kapil, with his knowledge of the game will be able to advise Sony on programming innovations. The exclusive agreement between the SET network and Kapil is in line with the Network's stated goal of providing the best in cricket entertainment to our viewers."

The association between our network, said Dasgupta, and Kapil will initially last for three years and I am sure that both parties will be keen to continue working together to make live cricket the most entertaining experience ever for viewers in the Indian subcontinent.

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