Kabaddi is a wrestling sport indigenous to India. Derived from a Tamil word Kai-pidi literally meaning “(let’s) Hold Hands”, the game requires an equal amount of stamina as much as team strategy to master it. Over the years the sport has evolved to be embraced by many countries over the world, but India remains to be the unbeaten champion in the Kabaddi World cup ever since it was first played in 2004.
However, watching a game of Kabaddi doesn’t sound all that exciting to an Indian, especially the average Indian youth hooked to cricket and football. To popularize the sport, and most of all, the players and bring out its modern face, Mashal Sports has announced the Pro Kabaddi League (PKL). And like what IPL did to India and cricket the world over, PKL will do for Kabaddi, while Star Sports will broadcast it live on television.
Supported by the International Kabaddi Federation (IKF), the Asian Kabaddi Federation (AKF) and the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India (AKFI), Pro Kabaddi League will be an eight-city league with games to be played at home and away basis with each team playing each other twice in July and August 2014. Players from Iran, Bangladesh, Japan, Kenya, South Korea and the UK will be a part of PKL.
Co-promoted by Anand Mahindra, Mahindra & Mahindra Chairman, the organising committee is led by Charu Sharma, while it has celebrity team owners like actor Abhishek Bachchan who is the owner of Jaipur’s Pink Panthers team.
The league is being promoted through digital and social media in exciting ways. Along with the website, its social media presence is actively sharing updates about the sport and the events sledding towards the countdown on July 26. There is an engaging game for fans too.
A contest hosted on the PKL Facebook page called ‘#KabaddiStaminaChallenge’ is giving away free match tickets. Created by Alive Now, all you have to do on the app is test your stamina as tested in a game of Kabaddi. You need to record the number of times you say ‘Kabaddi’ in a single breath, as the one with the most number of ‘kabaddi’s’ wins!
The app allows audio as well as video recording. If you like what you hear, click ‘submit’ and then share your name, email and city. You can check out the gallery to listen to other players.
The promotional video on the app features Abhishek Bachchan, Charu Sharma, Ronnie Screwala, among others, taking a shot at the ‘#KabaddiStaminaChallenge’:
The YouTube channel has posted quite a few videos on Kabaddi strategy as well as the PKL events, while the Pro Kabaddi Facebook and Twitter pages have been engaged in creating buzz and conversations with the community. Teams have started to create individual Twitter handles and are introducing the players.
— Bengal Warriors (@BengalWarriors) June 19, 2014
Engaging with the youth
With celebrity names backing Pro Kabaddi League, the sport has not only gained in visibility, it has created a platform for new Kabaddi stars. The youth can now look forward to new sports icons other than cricketers for inspiration. While the website and social media pages have been creating required awareness about the sport and the players, it is good to see interesting visuals, video snippets of games and other information related to the sport.
Moreover, the social media promotions for PKL have been well in advance before the league games commence in July. Also, the #KabaddiStaminaChallenge is in line with the spirit of the game. It does create interest in the game as well as help engage kabaddi fans and gratify them with match tickets.
PKL is engaging Kabaddi fans in simple but interesting ways on social media!