Women’s cricket in India set for major boost as Mary Kom, Kareena Kapoor Khan among top female voices join PUMA for revolutionary movement at WPL

Bengaluru : Continuing its mission to develop the sports ecosystem in India, especially women’s sport, global sports brand PUMA has brought together illustrious female icons including boxing great MC Mary Kom and celebrated actor and entrepreneur Kareena Kapoor Khan among others at a Women’s Premier League (WPL) match in New Delhi on March 10 for a unique Ladies’ Night that champions the cause of women’s cricket in the country.

PUMA took to social media on Thursday to launch a revolutionary campaign with a digital film conceptulised by PUMA featuring Kareena Kapoor Khan, MC Mary Kom, fashion designer Masaba Gupta, India’s accomplished businesswoman and cofounder of SUGAR Cosmetics Vineeta Singh and renowned news anchor Faye D’Souza.

The film, narrated by the leaders, revealed that women’s cricket receives only the 1/8th viewership of men’s cricket, reflecting the staggering gender bias in the sports ecosystem in the country (as per official digital viewership data of 2023). The stars pledged to come together to watch the WPL match over an ultimate Ladies‘ Night, inviting women from all walks of life to join them in celebrating women in sport with #CricketIsEveryonesGame.

Commenting on the occasion, Karthik Balagopalan, Managing Director of PUMA India, said, “As the country’s leading sports brand, PUMA has been a long-standing driver of change in shattering gender biases and championing women’s sports. Traditionally, women in the country have not been encouraged to watch and embrace sports as men have. Now that is the need of the hour.  We are at the turning point to create an equitable sporting landscape and women need to watch women’s sport in order to drive change.”

Karthik added, “As we launch this campaign today, it is heartwarming to have India’s leading women such as Kareena Kapoor Khan, Vineeta Singh, MC Mary Kom, Masaba Gupta and Faye D’Souza, use the power of their voice and platforms to address this cause. Cricket is Everyone’s Game and as a brand we have been advocating it from the time we onboarded Harmanpreet Kaur with an award-winning social experiment. We are confident now that this remarkable collaboration will further the narrative, level the playing field, increase fandom and create inspiration for the future generation of women athletes.”

With their successful careers, these leading names have been an inspiration for women to pursue goals fearlessly and break social norms. On March 10, they will not only cheer the players during the match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore but also encourage fans to come together, fill the stadium, and create a lasting impact for the future of women’s sports as this mammoth campaign is centered around increasing viewers and fans of women’s sports this cricketing season.

“Having support from fans when you’re playing always motivates the athlete to perform better, be it in the ring or on the cricket pitch. Watching sports live also inspires the younger generation and creates a deep sense of community. Encouraging more women to watch the game will not only increase its viewership but also help the growth of the sport. I’m excited to be part of PUMA’s Ladies’ Night and urge everyone to join us in this revolutionary movement,” commented the six-time world champion Mary Kom.

PUMA ambassador Kareena Kapoor Khan has been contributing immensely to the world of cinema and is now leveraging her influential voice to make a change in the sports industry.

Commenting on the occasion, Kareena Kapoor Khan said, “India has seen some significant performances by our female athletes recently but there is so much more scope for it to be brought out with more glory. While cricket is a religion in our country – the spotlight, the viewership, the fanfare – is markedly lesser in women’s cricket when compared to men’s cricket. Personally cricket as a sport has always been close to my heart, it runs in our family and now we own a team as well so it’s even more special.“

Kareena added,“I’m glad that a brand like PUMA has identified this need and come forward with this stand-out campaign to increase the participation of female viewers in women’s cricket. Let’s come together and join PUMA to bring the much-needed change.”

Faye D’Souza, Founder & Editor of Beatroot News, added, “By rallying for increased viewership in women’s cricket, we are not just cheering for the players on the field but also fuelling a larger movement that can profoundly impact the sports industry as a whole. We invite all women from all walks of life to join us for a transformative Ladies’ Night in New Delhi on March 10. Let’s fill the stadium, not just with spectators but with the spirit of change.”

While WPL fever is beginning to grip the country, PUMA’s attempt to create awareness around the number of female viewers of the game and ignite fandom conversation and mindset change by bringing together women from across industries in a nation-wide movement is a historic move.

The official kit partner of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals, PUMA actively promotes sporting culture in India and boasts a star-studded lineup of brand ambassadors featuring batting icon Virat Kohli, football star Sunil Chhetri, celebrated boxer Mary Kom, and cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur and Mohammed Shami.

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