Indian Cricket team Vice-Captain Rohit Sharma has been appointed as the ‘La Liga Brand Ambassador in India’. The Spanish League made the announcement welcoming Rohit Sharma first on their official Facebook page. Sharma is now the first non-footballer to be a brand ambassador of the league.
Here he is…?
The new #LaLiga Brand Ambassador in India, Rohit Sharma! ???⚽✨
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) December 12, 2019
Rohit Sharma has confessed to being a Real Madrid fan. Sharma recently became the fastest cricketer to hit 400 sixes in international games. His innings of 71 in 34 balls at the Wankhade Stadium in Mumbai helped India to win the third T20 and win the series 2-1.
Hola India/España, as you guys know, football has always held a special place in my heart so this association is so special to me. And to be named the ambassador for the La Liga is so humbling. So excited for this partnership @LaLigaEN pic.twitter.com/prZFFSeHdV
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) December 12, 2019
La Liga’s latest announcement comes in line with their plans to gain a foothold in India. India is a country with rising footballing culture, and so various foreign leagues like La Liga are targeting this growing fanbase.
However, it was the English Premier League who beat the top Spanish division to enter in India. In 2017, Premier League had appointed Bollywood actor Ranvir Singh as its brand ambassador in India.
— Ranveer Singh (@RanveerOfficial) December 22, 2017
La Liga already broadcasts its matches over Facebook in India with an attempt to allow as many fans to watch the game. Furthermore, President of the league Javier Tebas had recently admitted to scheduling matches early in Spain. As a result, football fans in Asia are able to watch matches without staying up late.
“It is important to recognise that the followers of Spanish football are not just people who live in Spain. We must also respect the fans who are in Asia and the Americas – they are also contributing because they pay for their TV subscriptions, which in turn allows the clubs to pay big stars and helps turns La Liga into a global product,” Tebas said in an interview to the Guardian.
While many are praising La Liga’s intents to globalise the game, others among the Indian Football fraternity are questioning the league’s decision to appoint a cricketer as a brand ambassador. One among them is I-League club Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj.
His tweet says:
Hey @LaLigaEN you do know that we have our captain leader legend @chetrisunil11 who has scored more international goals than any Spanish striker & you pick a cricketer to be your brand ambassador- wow – ???????????? pic.twitter.com/XyO6Ms6eOs
— Ranjit Bajaj (@THE_RanjitBajaj) December 12, 2019
Here is a looked at some other reactions:
— ?????'? ???????™ (@LoyalRohitFan) December 12, 2019
— PavanKalyan Bala ❤️ (@PavanklyanA) December 12, 2019
Come on!! LaLiga Ambassador for India is a Real Madrid fan.
Rohit Sharma bats at no.1 supports the no.1 team in Spain. https://t.co/fba7QAmiTq
— Anmoldeep Malhi (@AnmoldeepMalhi) December 12, 2019
India really got no footballers do they?
— Jon (@osovelli) December 12, 2019
Only commercial intrest of football clubs to eat a pie from cricket market
Our Rajas becoming their tools
Later they will see their cricket kingdom lost
— Biju Panicker (@bspanicker) December 12, 2019
Yes we have, but La Liga's logic was that to make some cricket fans to watch La Liga
Who will become plastic fans eventually
— Indian Football Fans Club (@iffc_india) December 12, 2019