4 Minutes Read
If you had visited an Indian cricket stadium in the 90s or early 2000s, you would have witnessed the ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ phenomenon. Crowds of people screaming the name of arguably one of India’s greatest cricketers. As the title of Balasubramanian Shyam and Santhanam Vijay‘s book rightly says, ‘If Cricket is Religion, Sachin is God’.
The highest run-scorer of all time in international cricket, Tendulkar has now joined e-commerce payment company, PayTM’s gaming arm, PayTM First Games (PFG), as its brand ambassador. PFG is a fantasy gaming platform for sports like cricket, kabaddi, football, and basketball.
PayTM has previously been associated with Team India and the Indian Premier League (IPL). The company’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma on September 14, announced Tendulkar as its brand ambassador via a tweet.
— Vijay Shekhar Sharma (@vijayshekhar) September 14, 2020
“The icon of a billion cricket-loving Indians, Sachin would be instrumental in creating awareness about the exciting genre of fantasy sports in the country. Other than Fantasy Cricket, he would help PFG promote and generate excitement around all sports including kabaddi, football, and basketball,” Paytm said in a statement.
The partnership with Tendulkar will also help increase the company’s reach in smaller cities and towns, it added.
The 47-year-old is not the first cricketer to become a part of a fantasy gaming portal. The Indian national team’s captain, Virat Kohli, is an ambassador for Mobile Premier League (MPL) since March 2019, while former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had joined hands with India’s biggest fantasy sports company, Dream11, back in 2018. Former opening batsman Gautam Gambhir has also been associated with gaming app CricPlay, while former Indian captain and the current President of the BCCI, Sourav Ganguly, endorses My11Circle.
This is also not the first time Tendulkar has been associated with an Indian start-up. Before this, the Bharat Ratna winner had invested in a Bengaluru-based Internet of Things (IoT) company Smartron India and had also come on board as the company`s brand ambassador.
He has also backed sports entertainment company Smaaash, a gaming arcade operator with multiple digital entertainment centers for cricket, football, go-karting, bowling, and other recreational activities. Tendulkar has also launched a premium menswear brand on Walmart-owned e-commerce platform Myntra.
With the 2020 IPL season just a few days away, Tendulkar’s addition to the PFG family will go a long way in creating awareness about fantasy sports in particular and the online gaming industry as a whole in the country.
Game on because #SachinIsBack
We are glad to welcome Nation’s biggest Cricket Icon @sachin_rt as our Brand Ambassador.
Let’s up the ante & take fantasy gaming to the next level! pic.twitter.com/nRWmq5q9zK
— PaytmFirstGames (@PaytmFirstGames) September 15, 2020
Talking about his latest collaboration, Tendulkar said, “Cricket is an engaging sport, and we all tend to have opinions about the game – right from player selection to playing strategies. Paytm First Games will give fans the opportunity to don their thinking hats and experience the thrill of making the correct choices and getting their teams to win.”
Commenting on the same, Paytm founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, “Cricket has been a key element in Paytm’s brand journey and it has worked brilliantly for our young brand. In addition to IPL, we are also the title sponsor for India cricket for the last few years. We had a great relationship with the BCCI, and our investment in IPL further reaffirms our commitment to this wonderful sport.”
Sudhanshu Gupta, COO of PFG, stated, “Cricket is like a religion in the country, which inspires over a billion people, and fantasy sports takes the fan’s level of engagement to the next level. As India’s homegrown gaming platform, our vision is to get the sports fans closer to the action with fantasy sports. Most of us have grown up watching the Master Blaster in action. With Sachin as a brand ambassador, we wish to inspire mobile gaming enthusiasts to experience fantasy sports which are about tactics, strategic planning, and research.”
PFG offers over 50 games, and the platform currently engages with over 80 million gaming enthusiasts with the majority of them from smaller cities and towns. With the ‘God of Cricket’ now batting for their team, PFG aims to get over 100 million users during the upcoming IPL and has plans for hosting contests for over 200 live events on the platform over the next six months.