Star Sports innovates to build Saina Nehwal international fanbase

MUMBAI: Keeping up with its commitment of building and supporting heroes in Indian sports, Star Sports is giving it’s viewers a reason to ‘cheer’ India’s shuttling superstar Saina Nehwal. The leading sports broadcaster is recruiting 20 passionate Indian fans to join the ‘Saina Squad,' an ensemble of Saina Nehwal supporters who will be flown to Dubai to cheer on the ace shuttler at the BWF World Superseries finals, 9 – 13 December 2015.


Currently ranked second in the world, Nehwal is one of India’s biggest sporting icons. She reflects the aspirations of millions of Indians and has a huge following of fans cutting across demographics. That same support, however, is missing when she plays abroad. But now, with Star Sports forming the #SainaSquad, she can count on an army of fans cheering her on in Dubai.


The ‘Saina Squad’ will play from the stands and support the Badminton prodigy during the tournament. The ubiquitous ensemble will drive, motivate and cheer the ace shuttler as she will take on the world’s best players in the Emirates state.


Star India COO Sanjay Gupta said, “Saina Nehwal, with her exceptional performances in the recent past, is the new sporting icon in the country. From reaching the summit of the sport to medals in Olympics and Superseries, Saina has done the country proud. As a broadcaster, we believe in bringing the fans closer to the game and their heroes. Keeping Saina’s growing fanbase in mind, we decided to form an ensemble of fans that will support her during her next international tour. We are confident ‘Saina Squad’ will not only create a platform for her fans but will also help increase the following of the sport.”


Saina Nehwal said, “The support I have at home in India is phenomenal and while I do have followers internationally, there’s still a certain buzz that’s missing when I’m playing abroad. I’m always striving to give my best on the court for the nation but having my own army of fans cheering for me in Dubai will definitely give me a massive boost. I would like to thank Star Sports for giving me my own army of fans through ‘Saina Squad’.”




‘Saina Squad’ will be shortlisted after a series of contests and activities on Social media. The first of those contests – featuring 20 cards celebrating Saina’s career achievements – kicked off on November 9. Fans can tweet using the hashtag #SainaFact to get a card. Those who collect all 20 cards will be eligible to be shortlisted. The activity will be followed by a quiz contest, an online treasure hunt, a puzzle featuring Saina’s top moments for fans to solve and a Saina chant competition. Finally, participants will have to answer why they think they are fit to join the ‘Saina Squad’.


The film has been planned and executed by the in-house team. The creative team had Mustafa Rangwala, Prathamesh Sakte, Ajeet Mistry. The production house who executed the production was O2 films and was directed by Ninad Chava. The marketing team consisted of, Shubhranshu Singh, Jarmaan Randhawa, Snigdha S



Activity Timelines:

November 9-10                                :               Saina Factoids

November 13-14              :               Video Quiz

November 16                    :               Timeline Treasure Hunt

November 17-18              :               Top Saina Moments

November 20-21              :               Saina Chant & Cheer

November 23-24              :               Last stage - Why should you be in the Saina Squad?

November 25                    :               Announcement of the winners



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