October 17, 2008 New Delhi
The first Test between India and Australia saw a remarkable act. Haddin, the Australian wicketkeeper, clutched at a dropping ball, which seemed to have taken the edge of Sehwag’s bat. The bowler went up in a vociferous appeal, the slips raised their hands and their voice, and the umpire was quizzed ” Howzzat???”In a wonderful gesture Haddin with a wave of his gloves indicated he was not sure if he had taken the catch cleanly, and therefore annulled the appeal.A rare moment in today’s ” dog-eat-dog” cricket world, where winning at any cost had become a mantra.
Reebok, one of the pioneers of supporting cricket in India and around the cricketing world, has over the years been at the forefront of the game. Not just making gear for the game but encouraging it to be played in the right spirit.
To create excitement and reward viewers for their involvement Reebok would provide exciting prizes for the viewers voting during each match and the lucky winner gets to take back a special Reebok bat, autographed by Reebok stars.
The Reebok Cricket Spirit Award promotion during the 1st India -Australia Test was an immediate hit with the viewers, as over 35,000 sms messages and votes were received. Haddin topped the poll, with Ricky Ponting & Anil Kumble being the other two players who got a fair number of votes.
The next 2 years has a lot of cricket to be played in India and the Reebok Cricket Spirt Award will be a regular feature of the next four series, India-England 2008, India – Australia 2009, India – Sri Lanka 2009 and India – South Africa 2010.
“When Creatigies approached us with this concept, we at Reebok were excited by the potential of the idea. After all who wants to see ugly scenes on a cricket field. Play hard but play fair.” said Sajid Shamim, Director Marketing Reebok India. This led to a discussion with Neo Sports, the channel that is currently telecasting the India Australia series, as well as the upcoming India England one, and the broadcaster too thought it was just the right time to drive home this aspect of the game.
Mautik Tolia, VP Programming, Neo Sports, said, ” The Reebok Cricket Spirit award is not just seen as another advertising segment on the cricket telecast. We at Neo also believe that this is one aspect of Cricket that needs to be up-fronted, and when Creatigies and Reebok put this forward to us we were more than delighted to see this as a long term building of a concept”
“The Reebok Cricket Spirit Award will be awarded to the player who exemplifies the true spirit of the game in each match, and is identified and voted for not just by the Jury but also the viewers of the game” said Navroze Dhondy, CEO, Creatigies Communications, who conceptualized and implemented the idea.