Case Study


665 x 275 Star Sports[3]

Star Sports, India’s largest sports channel had successfully launched a kabaddi league for men in 2014 and wanted to replicate that success in 2016 with women’s kabaddi. A contact sport popular in rural India, kabaddi is usually played by men, since women are traditionally considered ‘too delicate’ for it. Star Sports’ challenge was how to encourage viewership of a women-only sport.

Based on the insight that women in India are rapidly crossing the boundaries that have been laid out for them in fields ranging from science to sport, Star Sports created a campaign that became a rallying cry for women everywhere—and for the players of women’s kabaddi in particular. In kabaddi, to score a point, you need to cross a white line drawn into the ground. The concept took this aspect of the game and launched a campaign called ‘Cross the line’. This focused on the extraordinary stories of ordinary girls who lived in small towns and had beaten all obstacles to achieve national glory. Using a mix of video storytelling, print and broadcast outreach, advertising, social media and on-ground engagement, ‘Cross the line’ captured the struggles and the successes of the players of women’s kabaddi in an engaging and captivating manner.

Women’s kabaddi reached out to over 90.4 million people via TV broadcast on Star Sports and stadiums ran at 85 percent capacity for each of the matches of the Women’s Kabaddi Challenge. Amazingly, just two matches of women’s kabaddi surpassed the viewership figures of the whole UEFA Euro Cup 2016. Securing 218.2 million impressions, the campaign inspired many young girls to take up alternative sports and changed the perception of what is considered ‘appropriate’ for a woman in India.

Awards won - 3

Fulcrum Awards 2017

  • Silver in the Best Use of Creativity and Innovation category

PR Week Asia Awards 2017

  • Bronze in the South Asia PR Campaign of the Year category

  • Bronze in the Arts, Entertainment & Media Campaign of the Year category