The search to find the next Milkha Singh is on and is being mentored by Milkha Singh himself. Natural gas company GAIL India in association with Spoment, a global sports, media and entertainment company has embarked on an ambitious sports talent hunt in India to identify, groom and develop sports champions in the country.
Titled ‘GAIL – The Fastest Indian’ (GAIL TFI) has roped in the Flying Sikh as the chief mentor and is reaching out to over 3000 schools in 19 Indian cities, where boys and girls in the 12 to 14 years age group will receive an opportunity to compete for the title of the ‘Fastest Indian’.
The winners will receive specialised training from renowned national and international trainers, apart from a scholarship upto their post-graduation. The hunt that started in October will have the various city winners compete at the finals scheduled for December 14 at Bengaluru.
On the digital front, the campaign is being supported by a website ‘TheFastestIndian’ along with social media activities through the brand’s Facebook and Twitter channels. The website provides all information on the talent hunt along with latest updates and a picture gallery of the events. Further engagement has been devised with the use of ‘nominate your city’ contest’.
One has to nominate their city as the fastest city and give a reason as to why it is the fastest city. You need to also add what you do the fastest, be it running, writing, eating, etc. along with pictures or videos to support your nomination. If your city wins, you win a gift voucher. If your talent wins, you get to meet Milkha Singh!
Gail India’s Facebook and Twitter pages are sharing content about the talent hunt with pictures of the various city events. Also, both the social media properties are sharing about Milkha Singh and other sports facts in the world, along with interesting visuals.
Milkha Singh (left most) in the 440 yards race when he won gold at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in the United Kingdom pic.twitter.com/e5x9WeP1Ab
— GAILTheFastestIndian (@GailTFI) November 10, 2014
Additionally, the Gail India Twitter page is increasing engagement with the help of #GAILTheFastestIndian contest, which is testing users’ knowledge about The Flying Sikh. One has to follow the brand’s Twitter handle and use the contest hashtag in all their answers. The final winners get to meet the man himself.
Q12. What international competition was Milkha Singh unaware of during his childhood? #GAILTheFastestIndian
— GAIL (India) Limited (@gailindia) November 7, 2014
Sportskeeda, the digital media partners of the initiative are also adding on to create the digital buzz with latest happenings on the ground.
Engaging through social media
For a cricket-crazy country, it is great to see an initiative that will boost athletics in Indian sports. It is also heartening to see Milkha Singh, The Flying Sikh in the driver’s seat. Apart from being a much-required move in the direction of encouraging sports in the country, GAIL -The Fastest Indian has also made good use of digital and social media to spread the word.
An informative and updated website along with regular updates on the brand’s social media properties is helping bridge the online with the on ground activities. The hashtag driven contest about Milkha Singh and the associaton with Sportkeeda further helps spread word amongst sports fans in the country. Besides, the opportunity to meet the legendary athlete and Padmashree awardee will be the ultimate gratification for any Indian.
Cool initiative by GAIL with a decent debut on social media. Hopefully, it steers on a nationwide movement towards creating a pro-sports India. Hail GAIL!