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Star Sports signs Rana Daggubati, Puneeth Rajkumar & Diljit Dosanjh to push ProKabaddiLeague

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MUMBAI: It has been quite evident since the launch of its in-house campaign #AsliPanga that Star Sports is going out guns blazing to promote the fourth leg of its flagship sports IP, Pro Kabaddi League (PKL).

The three promo videos that the channel released last month quite frankly make fun of the currently popular tropes in Hindi GECs, and caricatures the showdowns in the prime time news channels and doesn’t spare the overly VFX-fied south Indian films.

And when we thought the network couldn’t get more mass than this, with less than two days  for the tournament to go on air, the channel has roped in three major personalities as its brand ambassadors -- Rana Daggubati, Puneeth Rajkumar and Diljit Dosanjh.

While Rana Daggubati of  ‘Bahubali’ fame is pleased to renew his association with the sport this season as well, Karnataka’s Puneeth Rajkumar, often touted as the region's power star  is also all charged up to give a leg up to rustic sport as well.

On the other hand,  Diljit Dosanjh-  singer, actor and television presenter from the Punjabi music industry who recently rose to fame with ‘Udta Punjab’ --  is also looking forward to witness many super raids, super tackles and other super moves of Kabaddi.

In fact a promotional  music video starring Diljit Dosanjh and released on 21 June is already garnering massive eyeballs on social media courtesy his tremendous popularity in the north and now in the Hindi speaking regions of the rest of India as wel, following the Udta Punjab controversy. 


Subsequently, the channel today released similar music videos featuring Rana Daggubati and Puneeth Rajkumar on 23  June.


Speaking on its aggressive marketing strategy towards Star Sports Pro Kabaddi a Star India spokesperson said, “The first three seasons of the league saw an overwhelming response from TV viewers, stadium spectators and sports enthusiasts. There is a growing passion for the sport and this success helps us in our goal of encouraging sporting talent and nurturing heroes. Our brand ambassadors Rana Daggubati, Puneeth Rajkumar and Diljit Dosanjh lend their bold, powerful image to Star Sports Pro Kabaddi and re-iterate the spirit of Kabaddi. The fact that Kabaddi is now the country’s second most viewed sport, second only to cricket, brings us great pride.”

The fourth season is set to take place a couple of days from now -  25 June to 31 July  with the existing eight teams participating. It will be the first time for an Indian league to be held two times in the same year.

 “Unlike cricket and football, in the case of kabaddi, fans have limited opportunities to engage with the live sport. So, we decided to have the league twice a year,” said Star India sports president and head Nitin Kukreja. The reason: the channel has more faith in the IP, thanks to the year on year growth of the franchise. 

As per ESP properties SportzPower report 2016, PKL has seen a whooping 300 percent growth, pushing its revenue to Rs 480 million in 2015, that too without a title sponsor.

The league has attracted premium brands – State Bank of India, TVS Motor, Bajaj Electricals, Flipkart. It added Gionee Mobiles and Idea Cellular as associate sponsors and got three new commercial partners in the form of PepsiCo, Indo Nissin Foods and Fair & Lovely Men Facewash in Season 3. Not to mention, Force Motors has recently announced itself as the principal sponsor for the Puneri Paltans for Season 4.

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