Karachi Kings (KK) is currently the last team at points table in PSL 2019. In terms of celebrity support on the ground, however, Kings seem to be winning the game against all its competitors in the tournament.
While it is your game of cricket that matters the most on the ground, these team ambassadors also have a crucial role to play, especially in terms of brand building and attracting more public support for the team in the stadiums.
It’s All Natural for Karachi
Owned by the CEO of ARY, Salman Iqbal, Karachi Kings naturally has many big names supporting it. Just like previous years, the first leg of the tournament saw celebrities like Hamyun Saeed, Fahad Mustafa, Faisal Qureshi, Aijaz Aslam, and Ahmad Ali Butt all being present in the ground and supporting KK.
Moreover, in the thrilling last match of Kings against Quetta Gladiators where they beat the latter; thanks to the brilliance of Colin Ingram, the star of Azaadi, Sonya Hussain was also seen chanting for Karachi in the ground.
This shows how strong the celebrity support is for Karachi. In contrast, the situation for the other five teams stands like this:
Let’s be honest here, in the presence of the owner of Qalandars, Fawad Rana, the team doesn’t really need much support from any other star. But jokes aside, unlike in the previous editions where Lahore Qalandars used to have Mehwish Hayat, Shaan Shahid, and Bilal Ashraf as their ambassadors, the team doesn’t have strong showbiz support this year.
Instead, with Fawad Rana’s brother Rana Javed being the Director News, Geo News, we saw the likes of many journalists including Hamid Mir, Muhammad Malick, Rauf Klasra, Amir Mateen and others attending matches of Lahore.
Quetta Gladiators has Aima Baig and Maya Ali as their ambassadors. While Maya has not shown up at any of the matches (the girl is chilling in Poland), we did see Aima perform at the opening ceremony, and later wearing the team jersey in Dubai.
Mahira Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Sana Javed are the team ambassadors for Peshawar Zalmi. While Mahira and Hamza did attend matches in previous seasons, this year we have yet to see them wearing the team jerseys in the ground. Sana Javed, however, was spotted multiple times in the ground, wearing the yellow of team Peshawar and actively supporting it.
Moreover, Vlogger Ukhano can also be seen on and off in the ground supporting Peshawar.
Some might argue that with Shahid Afridi in the team, there is no need for a celebrity as such. But unlike last year when Multan Sultans had celebrities like Neelum Muneer, Ahsan Khan, Javed Sheikh and Momal Sheikh supporting the team, this year with the change of ownership, the team doesn’t have any media personality supporting them, not in the ground at least.
Instead, the political celebrity and team owner, Jahangeer Tareen was spotted enjoying the match of their team a couple of days back.
The defending champions, Islamabad United, used to have Fawad Khan, Momina Mustehsan, and Ali Zafar as their official ambassadors. But, with Fawad doing the PSL Anthem this year, he wasn’t seen supporting any teams.
So, as you can see, Karachi really is winning in their celebrity game as always. However, after the dismal performance in the first leg of the tournament and the second starting from today for Karachi, it would only be their performance in the middle that would matter if they are to turn their lucks around this time.
For the other five teams, we hope they will also focus on their brand building and make their ground support visuals interesting. Specially when the tournament comes to Pakistan.