When it comes to glamour quotient, MUmbai Indians, the IPL team of Mumbai franchisee, has no match. Sachin Tendulkar, the icon player and captain of Mumbai Indians, is the star attraction of the IPL tournament, and its no secret industrialist Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries spent a whooping $111.9 million to buy the costliest of the eight IPL teams announced. When it comes to Mumbai Indians, everyone associated is a star of some sorts, Sachin, Mukesh Ambani and now Hrithik Roshan too.
Hrithik Roshan, the dashing young Bollywood actor, has been roped as the brand ambassador of MUmbai Indians squad. Though the amount for which Hrithik Roshan was tapped by the Mumbai Indians is still unknown, the presence of Hrithik is sure to attract a lot of youngsters to the side.
The prize money for the winners of DLF IPL is an astonishing USD 1.2million, which is something that would make the owners of the IPL teams happy. Although for Mumbai Indians the money is not a huge problem, since its owned by none other than Mukesh Ambani, bagging Hrithink Roshan and even the team itself for astronomical figures would mean that the owners are looking for good returns.
Mumbai Indians will play its first IPL match against Chennai’s Super Kings on April 20. Sachin Tendulkar is quite unlikely to play the first couple of matches due to his groin injury. That will be a big disappointment indeed for all Mumbai Indians fans.
Hrithik Roshan will also lead the fan club of Mumbai Indians, titled ‘MI Paltan’, a tie-up with Yash Raj Film’s “Tashan” for cross-promotional purposes and the sale of tickets for its matches. Reliance Group logo is absent from the promotional campaigns of Mumbai Indians, and the group has announced that all the future activities of Mumbai Indians would be held under a new company called ‘IndiaWin Sports’. The formation of this new company could well be an indication that the Reliance Group is looking well beyond cricket, perhaps towards a bit of commitment in sports.
Mr. R. Balachandran, Director, IndiaWin Sports and President & Chief Marketing Officer, Reliance Retail, said, “It was done recently. Presently the focus is on IPL and cricket and the objective is to build a very strong foundation. IPL is for perpetuity. “If there is a long term opportunity to engage in more sports we would look at it at the appropriate time.”
As per IndiaWin Sports executives, Hhrithik Roshan was chosen as the brand ambassador of Mumbai Indians by Nita AMbani, the wife of owner Mukesh Ambani. According to Nita Ambani, Hrithik represents youth, energy and tenacity, and is driven by aspirations.
The partners of Mumbai Indians IPL team are MasterCard and Adidas. The print media campaign of Mumbai Indians feature Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Sanath Jayasuriya and Robin Uthappa, while the audio-visual campaign stars Hrithik ROshan. Hrithik sings a marathi-Hindi mix theme song, ‘Ala re ala’ (here we come), Duniya Hila Denge (Let’s rock the world).
Mumbai Indians has also ropped in the famous commentator Harsha Bhogle as its advisor. Bhogle said, “”We are going to take great care to see that everyone integrates together because people are coming from different places. We have got a lot of youngsters from Maharashtra as well, from Mumbai itself.”
The prominent figure featuring in the Mumbai Indians team are Sanath Jayasuriya, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Pollock, Loots Bosman, Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa. Ashwell Prince will also feature in the team. Other players who will star in the Mumbai Indians team are Ajinkya Rahane, Abhishek Nayar, Yogesh Takawale and Pinal Shah.
Much to the surprise of many Indian cricket fans, Mumbai Indians have also roped in Dominic Thornely, a little-known Australian cricketer. Thornely is known for his aggressive batting and is also known for his combination of medium pace and spin. Some think Sachin is making up for the loss of Andrew Symonds to Deccan Chargers.
Mumbai Indians have started practising for the IPL matches. Heavy security marked the opening day of Mumbai Indians’ practice. The Mumbai Indians team would be staying in the ITC Grand Central, Parel, which will be their home for the coming two months.
The league matches of Mumbai Indians would be held at Nerul’s DY Patil stadium, which is almost 30km from the Mumbai Indians’ hotel.