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When Bollywood stars invaded the cricket pitch

The first look of Anurag Kashyap's 'Bombay Velvet' was launched during the India vs Bangladesh cricket World Cup tie. We take a look at past instances when the sporting field proved an ideal turf for unveiling Bollywood projects

Movie promotions are increasingly becoming aggressive, challenging filmmakers and actors to come up with innovative and unique strategies everyday. And what better than cashing in on cricket mania — a passion that is as big as Bollywood? Promotional activities centered on cricket are being planned by the marketing teams of different production houses.

Ranbir Kapoor
Ranbir Kapoor stars in 'Bombay Velvet'. Pic/Atul Kamble

The trailer of the much anticipated 'Bombay Velvet' was launched during the cricket World Cup quarter final between India and Bangladesh last month. A special video was shot to accompany it and the film's lead actor, Ranbir Kapoor also did commentary for the match.

An industry source says, "Films and cricket cross paths every now and  then. So it is no wonder that actors and directors are taking their films to the  cricket stadiums."

hitlist gives you a lowdown on a few movies which were launched on the sidelines of a cricket match...

'Dum Maaro Dum' (2011)
The producers of this multi-starrer held the music launch during an India-South Africa World Cup tie in Nagpur. The entire star cast including Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Rana Daggubati, Prateik and Deepika Padukone, who did the Dum Maaro Dum item number, added glitz to the event. The cherry on top was a century by master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.

From left: Bipasha Basu, Prateik, Rana Daggubati, Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone at the music launch of Dum Maaro Dum  during an India-South Africa World Cup tie in Nagpur. pic/SURESH K K
From left: Bipasha Basu, Prateik, Rana Daggubati, Abhishek Bachchan and Deepika Padukone at the music launch of 'Dum Maaro Dum'  during an India-South Africa World Cup tie in Nagpur. Pic/Suresh KK

'Ra.One' (2011)
The first look of Shah Rukh Khan's mega budget film was unveiled at the first quarter final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup in which India trounced the Aussies in Ahmedabad. Since SRK is known to be a cricket enthusiast and owns the Kolkata franchise in the cash-rich IPL, it was not surprising that he chose to take his film to this platform. Typically, a film's first look is unveiled not more than 100 days in advance, but the producers wanted to introduce it to the audience to bust various myths and rumours surrounding Ra.One from the time it was announced.

Shah Rukh Khan launched Ra.One’s first look on the sidelines of the 2011 World Cup quarter final between India and Australia
Shah Rukh Khan launched Ra.One's first look on the sidelines of the 2011 World Cup quarter final between India and Australia

'Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara!' (2013)
The makers gave the audience a sneak peek into the underworld film during the Indo-Pak Champions Trophy match in the UK. It was lead actor Akshay Kumar, an ardent cricket fan, who pitched the idea before the film's marketing team. In fact, Akki's character (Shoaib) in the film was that of a powerful don who wields the power to influence a cricket match.

Akshay Kumar had suggested the marketing team of Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara to launch the film promo at a cricket match
Akshay Kumar had suggested the marketing team of 'Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara' to launch the film promo at a cricket match

'Rangrezz' (2013)
Vashu Bhagnani took the first look of his film, in which his son Jackky Bhagnani played the lead role, to Kochi for a Celebrity Cricket League (CCL) game. Thousands of spectators were in the stands and Jackky and his reel romantic interest, Priya Anand, used it as an opportunity to spread word about their project. The film's music launch also took place during a CCL match.

Jackky Bhagnani performs at a CCL match where the first look of his film, Rangrezz was unveiled
Jackky Bhagnani performs at a CCL match where the first look of his film, 'Rangrezz' was unveiled

'Zanjeer' (2013)
The trailer of Zanjeer's remake starring Ram Charan Teja and Priyanka Chopra travelled to the cricket stadium during the star-studded CCL. It was director Apoorva Lakhia's idea to launch the promo during a cricket match. According to certain reports, actor Sonu Sood had to opt out of the new version of the 1973 blockbuster due to a leg fracture in the same tournament in Dubai.

Sanjay Dutt, Ram Charan Teja and Priyanka Chopra in a still from the remake of Zanjeer
Sanjay Dutt, Ram Charan Teja and Priyanka Chopra in a still from the remake of 'Zanjeer'

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