PSL in Pakistan: a new dawn for the entertainment industry
KARACHI: Every time Ashar (Fawad Khan) would ignore his much-adorable and loyal wife, Khirad (Mahira Khan) for Sara (Naveen Waqar), a million hearts would shatter. But this isn’t even close to what happens every time an Afridi catch is taken on the boundary.
Cricket is the biggest form of entertainment in Pakistan and the absolute mode of national catharsis. Its homecoming has been a fulfilling experience for many apologetic Pakistani souls and the few celebrities who’ve been trying to fill the void in whatever way they can, while facing their own set of challenges.
Only time will tell whether Fawad will ever become as big as Shahid Afridi but one thing’s for sure: PSL can serve as a platform for both to shine. The opening and closing ceremonies in Pakistan can prove to be what Super Bowl is for American entertainment and advertising, only if we market it like that and embrace it wholeheartedly.
With fresh faces like Bilal Ashraf and veterans like Shaan already coming on board as mascots for different teams, the extension of this marriage between cricket and celeb power is only going to make the brand stronger. And with the likes of Mawra Hocane tweeting about how she kept on hearing “Ranbir Ranbir” instead of “Zalmi Zalmi” in the crowd only validates the channel owner’s argument. The intention is very much there; it’s just that both the franchise owners and publicists/managers need to discover how their client can add value to the ceremony.
No matter how much you tweet or how many morning shows you appear in, the number of people watching PSL is just too humongous. This is an ideal space for upcoming brands, particularly films, for promotion and to be connected to a wider audience all across Pakistan and around the world. Your film gets associated with an even bigger product while catering to masses that also include people who are not a part of your regular cinema-going audience.
With so many eyes fixed on the TV, PSL can prove to be an ideal release medium for upcoming projects. Be it the much-awaited Ali Azmat album or Ali Zafar’s Pakistani film debut, songs from both can be performed at the ceremony and that way, the crowd will have something new to look forward to apart from just live music.
In merging the two industries, the message we are trying to send to the international community will only get more thorough. This will not only encourage international players to be a part of a star-studded showcase but will also encourage cultural mascots from around the world to visit Pakistan and interact with their fans.