Star Vijay to launch two Chennai Super Kings shows

Talk about exploiting a winning horse and Star Vijay is doing just that. The Star-owned Tamil entertainment channel has partnered with IPL team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) owner India Cements for two reality shows/talent hunts, Chennai Super Kings Juniors (CSK Juniors) and Chennai Super Kings Cheerleaders (CSK Cheerleaders).

CSK Juniors will go on air on weekends (on Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm) from 21 February and will run for 20 episodes. Auditions are to be held at Chennai, Coimbatore and Trichy and 11 kids between 8-12 years will be recognized as the CSK Juniors. These kids will get to watch all the CSK matches in Chennai sitting in the pavilion. The top three contenders (the best bowler, best batsman and best all rounder) will get an opportunity to be present with the CSK team at their net practice and will get a chance to travel with them to any one of the other IPL matches.

CSK Cheerleaders is slated to go on air on 20 February (every Friday at 10 pm) and will run for 10 episodes. As the show’s name suggests, it will test a number of boys and girls on their dancing skills and cheering routines over a series of competitive rounds, to find CSK cheerleaders. The selected team will be cheering the CSK team in every IPL match and will also be recognized as the official cheerleaders.

To top this all, the show will have CSK and India skipper MS Dhoni as a lynchpin of sorts. Dhoni will be seen acting in the promos of CSK Juniors and CSK Cheerleaders. Other CSK team members VB Chandrasekar, S Badrinath, L Balaji, Krishnamachari Srikanth and percussionist Sivamani will also be joining him on Vijay TV.

The Star management is pretty kicked about the tie up. And with good reason. Dhoni, IPL 2008 finalist CSK, a talent hunt for junior cricketers, and youngsters who will be recognised as CSK official cheerleaders, you can’t get a better package than that for the cricket crazy denizens of Tamil Nadu. 

Hear out Star India CEO Uday Shankar: “This is the first time that a GEC has tied up with a sporting event like the IPL in the manner that we have; a great strategy to capitalize on the brand and generate viewership.”

Adds India Cements head marketing Rakesh Singh: “The first season of IPL was a roaring success and the CSK reached the finals. We wanted a television partner with whom we could associate and take this great brand to the roots of Tamil Nadu. Star Vijay approached us with these two concepts which will popularise the brand.”

Vijay TV GM K Sriram further adds, “We are sure that we will put our best foot forward in making this content interesting to both the cricket lovers and the general audiences. This show will portray the aspirations of kids and their passion for the game striking a chord with the families as well. The show will surely generate interest of advertisers both in the national and retail markets.”

Sriram says that the channel has kept sponsorship open to one title and eight associate sponsors. “There is a lot of interest from about a dozen potential advertisers for the same even in these tough economic times because of our offering. We expect to close the title sponsorship for about Rs 10 million and associates at about Rs 4 million.”

He expects Star Vijay’s weekend share which is at 10 per cent today to grow to 12.5 to 13 per cent.

Now all that is left is that the CSK shows draw in those numbers.


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