afaqs! news bureau

PUMA unites celebrated female icons to champion women's cricket in India

Kareena Kapoor, Vineeta Singh, Mary Kom, Masaba Gupta, and Faye D’Souza to cheer the cricketers on March 10, 2024, in New Delhi.

Continuing its mission to develop the sports ecosystem in India, especially women’s sport, global sports brand PUMA has brought together a lineup of female icons - actor & entrepreneur Kareena Kapoor Khan, cofounder of SUGAR Cosmetics Vineeta Singh, BOXER MC Mary Kom, fashion designer Masaba Gupta and news anchor Faye D’Souza, to join hands and champion the cause of women’s cricket in the country.

Under this one-of-a-kind association, the selected women leaders as voices of change will be jointly attending a Women’s Premier League match in New Delhi on March 10 for a Ladies’ Night to support and celebrate our women athletes.

PUMA took to social media to announce this association and launch the mammoth campaign with a digital film featuring the five women. Narrated by the leaders, the film conceptualised by PUMA revealed that women’s cricket receives only 1/8th the viewership of men’s cricket (as per official digital viewership data of 2023), reflecting the staggering gender bias in the sports ecosystem. Despite huge potential, women’s cricket in India is yet to achieve the desired numbers when it comes to viewership, as only 18% of the women who watch men’s cricket, watch women’s games.

In the digital film, the stars pledged to not only come together to watch the WPL match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore at the stadium but also welcome women from all walks of life to join them and enjoy watching the game as a collective over this Ladies‘ Night.

Commenting on the occasion, Karthik Balagopalan, MD, PUMA India, said, “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. 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.”

Ambassador Kareena Kapoor Khan has been contributing to the world of cinema and is now leveraging her voice to make a change in the sports industry. Commenting on the occasion, Kareena Kapoor Khan said,“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.“ 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.”

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 nationwide movement is a historic move. "I am honoured to stand alongside formidable women in supporting PUMA's groundbreaking #CricketIsEveryonesGame campaign at the Women's Premier League. It’s disheartening to witness the vast viewership gap between men's and women's cricket, and we are committed to changing that narrative which goes beyond the boundaries of the sports arena; it's about empowering women, fostering entrepreneurship, and boosting the sports economy,” commented Vineeta Singh.

Masaba Gupta, added, “Through this campaign with PUMA, we aim to revolutionise women’s cricket and I hope to see many women to be a part of this historic movement.“ The official kit partner of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals, PUMA 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 MC Mary Kom, and cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur and Mohammed Shami.

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