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Virat, hip-hop star Divine feature in Puma #SockThem campaign

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Bangalore: Leading the cricket frenzy, sports brand PUMA launched its biggest campaign for the season – #SOCKTHEM, featuring Indian captain and PUMA ambassador, Virat Kohli along with Divine, the country’s biggest hip-hop star.  The campaign takes inspiration from the skipper’s iconic moment at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where he made a statement by gesturing that he “Lets his bat do the talking”.

#SOCKTHEM is a platform that aims to give Indian cricket fans all the ammunition they need to support the Men in Blue, with a rap anthem and a symbolic gesture.

Much like cricket, music speaks to everyone and is embedded in the fabric of society. The rap anthem “SOCKTHEM” effortlessly blends music and sport–two of the biggest cultural unifiers of the country. Honoring Virat’s sportsmanship, Divine perfectly captures the crossover between music, art and culture and how cricket transcends everything in India. The music video will also see other PUMA brand ambassadors like Sushma Verma, Indian National Woman Cricketer, and Mary Kom, Indian Olympic Boxer express their support for the team.

Talking about the campaign, PUMA India MD Abhishek Ganguly said, “Cricket is one of the biggest cultural integrators in India. The SOCKTHEM campaign celebrates cricket and the culture of the sport that unites our nation. The anthem is a perfect way for fans to voice their support for Virat and cheer for Team India. Divine and Virat together make this campaign widely-relatable in  a manner that is daring, optimistic and inspiring.”

India captain Virat Kohli said,“ I always look to push my limits and challenge myself on and off the field. I am super excited to be part of this rap anthem, and I had a great time working with PUMA and Divine on the campaign. As we prepare to take the field, I’m looking forward to seeing Indian cricket fans join the #SOCKTHEM movement, and hope to see them singing “Chakravyuh Mein Sock Them” for years to come.”

The man behind the SOCKTHEM track, Divine added, “This was one of the most unique projects I have worked on and I am super excited to have played such an integral role in the campaign. India has a special love for cricket, and I’m thankful to PUMA for giving me an opportunity to compose and perform an anthem for Indian cricket fans worldwide. I hope everyone enjoys singing it, as much as I enjoyed bringing it to life.”

Brand Lounge

Baseline Ventures signs Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar

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New Delhi: Cricketer Bhuvneshwar Kumar sealed a management deal with Baseline Ventures, the sports marketing and events company announced on Monday.

Bhuvneshwar made his ODI and T20I debut in 2012 against Pakistan, is one of the few bowlers to have taken a wicket off his first delivery in ODI cricket. Following the announcement, Bhuvneshwar said, “I am really excited to be associated with Baseline Ventures. They are one of the biggest names in the industry and I hope it’s a fruitful association. I have a long season ahead of me and I will hope that I can win India more matches in the coming future.”

The 29-year-old has claimed 128 wickets from 111 ODIs and joins the list of Indian cricketers managed by Baseline ventures  including Ravindra Jadeja, Prithvi Shaw, Smriti Mandhana, Radha Yadav and Jemimah Rodrigues.

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English Premier League, La Liga sign multi-year global partnership with Budweiser

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New Delhi: Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (AB InBev) global brand, Budweiser, announced multi-year partnerships with two of the top international football leagues, the Premier League and La Liga. As a long-time partner of the FIFA World Cup and supporter of football leagues and several national teams worldwide, Budweiser is proud to expand its support for the world’s game and connect to more football fans every year.

These new partnerships will activate across five continents and in more than 20 countries* including the United Kingdom, China, South Africa, India, Chile and Nigeria, bringing fans closer to their football heroes through a series of unique programs across the globe, a media statement said.

As the world’s most valuable beer brand**, the King of Beers will launch its global ‘Be A King’ campaign in conjunction with these partnerships. This campaign will inspire fans around the world by bringing them closer to the kings of the game. Activations will include limited edition packaging showcasing the iconic league trophies, exclusive viewing parties, broadcast media assets and content partnership designed to celebrate the greatness of the players on the field and the cultural impact of the players off the field.

“We are excited to kick-off these long-term partnerships with the Premier League and La Liga, two world-class football competitions. These partnerships will allow us to further connect with key consumers and football fans across the globe,” said Pedro Earp, Chief Marketing Officer at AB InBev. “We are passionate about football, and so are our consumers, so we couldn’t be prouder to celebrate the sport, the players, and most importantly, the fans.”

Premier League Interim Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “We are delighted to announce Budweiser as a new Premier League partner. Budweiser has a track record of innovative football sponsorships, including partnering with the FIFA World Cup over many years. We look forward to working together to bring our new partnership to life and capturing the imagination of our fans all over the world.”

La Liga President Javier Tebas added: “We’re committed to growing the passion for football around the world. This historic partnership with Budweiser will only add to the growing excitement and anticipation for this year’s season and we’re thrilled to have them as partners. The global visibility of Spanish clubs will be strengthened thanks to this agreement.”

*Note: The agreement between Budweiser and LaLiga does not include Spain.

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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Awarding six runs for overthrows was a “judgment error” by umpires: Taufel

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New Delhi: Retired Australian umpire Simon Taufel, who is also on the MCC Laws sub-committee which makes the rules governing cricket, has said that there was an error of judgment on the part of on-field rules officials Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dharmasena in awarding six runs for overthrows on England all-rounder Ben Stokes instead of five.

Taufel was the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) manager of umpire performance and training as recently as 2015.

Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald, Taufel said, “There was a judgment error on the overthrow. The judgment error was the timing of when the fielder threw the ball. The act of the overthrow starts when the fielder releases the ball. That’s the act. It becomes an overthrow from the instant of the throw.”

Chasing 242 for victory, England needed nine from the final three balls of their regulation 50-overs. Stokes struck the ball into the deep off the third-last ball, and tried to complete a second run. However, a throw from New Zealand’s Martin Guptill ricocheted off Stokes’ bat as the batsman dived home, running away for four overthrows. England were awarded six runs.

But, according to Law 19.8, pertaining to an “overthrow or wilful act of fielder”, Stokes should only have been credited for five runs.

“If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side, and the allowance for the boundary, and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act,” the law says.

Replays showed that Stokes and non-striker Adil Rashid hadn’t crossed at the time of the throw.

Taufel, who was named ICC umpire of the year every year from 2004 to 2008 and stood in the 2011 World Cup final, backed the on-field umpires but admitted that they had committed a mistake.

“…It’s unfortunate that there was a judgment error on the timing of the release of the ball and where the batsmen were. They did not cross on their second run, at the instant of the throw. So given that scenario, five runs should have been the correct allocation of runs, and Ben Stokes should have been at the non-striker’s end for the next delivery.

“We’re not perfect. You’ve got the best two umpires in the elite panel doing the final. They’re doing their best like the other two teams are. This is just part of the game. I think it’s unfair to say that the World Cup was decided by that one event.”

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