From ‘Chak De! India’ to ‘Mary Kom’, Bollywood has always cashed in on the success of Indian sports and athletes. Now a sports franchise has tried to cash in on the success of a movie by using its title in their name.
The owners of the Uttar Pradesh franchise of the Pro Wrestling League, whose second edition will start from January 2, have decided to brand their team ‘UP Dangal’ after the recently released Aamir Khan-hit film.
Incidentally, the UP franchise has Geeta Phogat and Babita Phogat in their ranks, on whose lives Dangal is based.
Aamir plays the role of Mahavir Singh Phogat, who coached the Phogat sisters to glory at the Commonwealth Games.
While Geeta Phogat was a gold medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Babita clinched gold at Glasgow Commonwealth Games four years later.
The Phogat sisters have said they were inspired by the movie, which talks about how the family broke the image of wrestling as a male preserve in the country, particularly patriarchal Haryana.
“The movie is a source of inspiration for me and (sister) Babita to do well in the league. The league has done a world of good to me and all the wrestlers around the country and world,” Geeta had said.
Babita added: “The film has shown the true spirit of the sport and has struck a chord with everyone in the country.”
The UP franchise has seven other wrestlers besides the Phogats such as Rio Olympic medallists like Elitsa Yankova (women’s 48 kg) and Maria Mamashuk (women’s 75 kg).
Ukraine’s Andrey Kviatkovski, Cuba’s Livan Lopez Azcuy and India’s Mausum Khatri, Amit Dahiya and Amit Dhankar are also part of the squad. It remains to be seen whether the franchise will garner the success that the movie seems to on the path to achieving.