MTN is celebrating its tenth year of involvement in cricket in the country with several exciting initiatives including a cricketing world first that gives fans the opportunity to bowl the opening delivery for their favourite franchise at any of this season's televised MTN Domestic Championship cricket matches.
Supporters who SMS their predictions for the Man of the Match to 083 123 6464 automatically stand in line to win the opportunity to deliver a ceremonial opening delivery at an upcoming home match. Additionally, they stand in line to win R500.00 for themselves and the MTN Cricket For Changes initiative. Winners can also invite a friend to enjoy the match with them and will receive a replica franchise kit.
Each winner will take the field with the bowling side and deliver the opening ball before the batsman takes guard before the start of the match.
"Cricket is South Africa's favourite summer sport and this competition gives fans the perfect opportunity to catch a glimpse of what it feels like to be a professional cricketer," says Bernard Pieters, sponsorship manager for cricket at MTN SA.
This competition ties in closely with the MTN Backyard Series campaign designed to reawaken the passion all cricket lovers have for the game by taking people back to its roots and showing them that even the top players started playing cricket in the backyard.
"MTN recognises the potential in everyone and wants to make the fans as much part of the game is possible. To this end, we have hosted several MTN Fan Days at franchises throughout the country that provide the perfect platform to meet the players in a relaxed atmosphere and to chat to them about their experiences in the game," says Pieters.
The MTN Fan Days, like all the MTN one-day internationals and MTN Domestic Championship matches this season, feature the MTN World of Cricket where kids of all ages can improve their cricketing skills in an exciting and fun environment.
MTN has developed a Web site (www.backyardseries.tv) to give visitors the opportunity to play backyard cricket online, rate themselves against their friends, look up player profiles and team statistics, and see how their favourite teams are doing throughout the season.
The site will also have a host of downloadable content that includes ring tones, wallpapers, the Backyard Series theme song and much more.
Of course, there is a serious side to the campaign as well. MTN has always been a committed company when it comes to corporate social investment and this season will be unlike any other.
"Tying into the Backyard campaign will be MTN-branded bins where we ask cricket lovers to donate their old cricket equipment. We will use this equipment for the MTN Cricket For Changes initiative. It will definitely be a case of from your backyard to theirs," says Pieters.