“Look at the stars, Look how they shine for you….” Any casual pop music follower can complete the lyrics to this song. However, it will indeed take an ardent follower of Apollo Tyres, a leading global tyre brand based in India, to recognize the efforts it’s been putting to bring stars onto the football turf - not just in the subcontinent, but all over the globe.
The Gurgaon-based brand is doing its best to ensure Joga Bonito reaches to every corner of the country with ‘Go The Distance’ – an initiative that has laid the foundation of many football pitches made of recycled rubber in the country for its talented youth. Besides this, the 1972-founded company has organized multiple football camps for children in association with the Manchester United Soccer Schools, both in India and the United Kingdom.
Apollo Tyres is the principle tyre sponsor for the 20–time Premier League champions Manchester United, and Crystal Palace. They also sponsor German club Borussia Monchengladbach.
The world’s 15th largest tyre manufacturer also recently became the title sponsor of the Ludhiana-based I-League club, Minerva Punjab FC, which has in the past, defended the Nike Manchester United Premier Cup (MUPC) twice, besides honing skills of four India U-17 World Cup squad players - Mohd Shahjahan, Nongdamba Naorem, Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh, India’s first ever goal-scorer in a World Cup.
With its focus on ensuring greater visibility for the game all over the world, the 45-year-old company also recently became one of the primary sponsors of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Sustaining a campaign named #ApolloXISL, the brand seeks to unite all football lovers under a common umbrella in the subcontinent. The league, now in its fourth edition, has been viewed by over 216 million people in its last season, and the number’s expected to grow further with Apollo Tyres doing all they can to leverage the sport. #ApolloXFootball, another football led initiative, is like a breath of fresh air into the Indian football scene since it ensures audience engagement on social media channels.
Recently, they became prime sponsors of the current ISL table-toppers Chennaiyin FC, with a campaign named #ApolloXCFC. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni co-owned team were the winners of the tournament in 2015.
Fans are the heartbeat of the sport and Apollo leaves no stone unturned to ensure that every fan gets a chance to watch his or her favourite team, live in action. Fans get a chance to win tickets to any game, by simply logging onto the #ApolloXFootball website and entering in a lucky draw, which is held for every game.
The fun doesn’t end just there. Besides pure football, Apollo Tyres have brought in Freestyle Football into the picture! They introduced India to the wondrous skills of the trio of Kalina Matysiak, Kitti Szaz and Aylin Yaren, winners of tournaments such as the Freestyle Football World Championship (Matysiak), who also happen to be freestyle collaborators with football heroes like Neymar (Kitti Szaz).
The dashing trio showcases their freestyle skills during the half-time interval between ISL matches. The video below shows how they captivated the audience at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi.
At any given half-time interval on match-day, Matysiak can be seen executing a freestyle skill ‘Around the World’ – a basic freestyle move in which she swivels a perfect 360 degrees! The same spectacular move contributed to her winning the World title.
Further, a perfectly executed half-time aerobatics display by the trio shows them executing a plethora of moves, namely The Rainbow, The Shoulder-stall, and a tough, tricky drill called ‘In the Ditch’, where the performer balances the ball in the ditch, on her back.
Throughout the display, the crowd can be seen cheering for the trio to Go The Distance with their skill, in complete awe of their flexible moves. And why wouldn’t they, when the likes of Aylin Yaren executes a perfect sole juggling move, completing over two minutes of non-stop juggling to wow the crowd?
To see the complete set of legerdemain by the trio, visit the official #ApolloXISL page, here.
The energy was absolutely enthralling at the stadium today during #ApolloHTS. If you missed the action, here's a glance.@IndSuperLeague pic.twitter.com/3w2ZGlFY2h — Apollo Tyres (@apollotyres) December 22, 2017
Apollo’s dedication to football simply doesn’t end on the organizing front. With constant digital endeavours, 100,000 followers on Twitter and close to 1 million likes on Facebook, their dedication on social media, is evident for all to see.