Shakira’s Waka Waka (This time for Africa) the official 2010 FIFA world cup song released 8.5 years back had 2.2 Billion views. It was perhaps the earliest of sports anthem song that resonnated across the world for its music its upbeat tempo living up to the Time for Africa. The De Ghumake 2011 Cricket World Cup Official song released 8 years back had 3.6 Million views . Standby – Anthem for the ICC World Cup 2019 released a couple of days back is standing by at 0.5 Million views as on date. While the match has just begun it will remain to be seen how the days play out for this one. Decision Pending !!
Cricketing events are increasingly becoming musical extrvaganzas with familiar artists involved, creative yet localised themes, smart promotions and then the whole global distribution stuff. To take a leaf out of the branding parlance its one of the essential “M” of Marketing of Events and why not. From the earlier times of the sounding of the bugles, trumpets, whistles, drums to present times IPL trumpet tune of En Er Mundo – Pepe El Trompeta the Anthems for ICC World Cups have provided a smart way to create hype around the event much like any bollywood movie release.
However while the movie song can go with the situation the Cricket Anthems or official songs need to cater to some basic requirements. They need to be cricket-ing in nature aka some association to the sports, the appeal to the cricketing communities across the world be it the Indies in the West, the British, Scots, The Africans and the Kenyans, The newer regions in the Middle East UAE, The Staple grounds of Indian Subcontinent to the Australias and Kiwis. They need to influence moods , bring out the energy, the enthusiasm in the crowds for these will get played during each and every match. And last but not the least also reflect the sensibilities and traditions of the host nation. And before we forget the need for the Anthem to be a super duper hit with likes, shares, reviews its a tough pitch to bat on !
If we are to trace the songs associated with Cricket say the 1992 World Cup song ‘The World is Coming Down’ or the 1996 song ‘Chokra’ , to the 1999’s ‘All Over the World’ by David A. Stewart and the 2003 South Africa hosted World Cup’s official song, ‘Welcome to Our Home‘ , West Indies 2007 World Cup’s anthem ‘Game of Love & Unity’ and the recent one in 2011 the De Ghumake – the attempts have been to create a peppy , upbeat with cricket in the backdrop while adding the local flavour in terms of colour, beats, hues, the messaging et all. While some songs got accepted easily the others kind of got caught in the effort of trying to experiment a little too much.
The grounds of England and Wales will see the action in the 12th edition of the ICC World Cricket Championships this May-July of 2019. With 48 matches to be hosted and a viewership of over 3 Billion expected to see the tournament the Music too will be noticed. And the honours this time, in the form of a 3.20 minute long STAND BY, have been done by one of UK’s revered , influential music group Rudimental, the song in collaboration with new artist Loryn. According to the ICC, the song “celebrates the cultural diversity of the United Kingdom and was announced earlier in May at an exclusive event hosted by Radio 1 Breakfast DJ, Greg James in discussion with Cricket World Cup Ambassador Freddie Flintoff and LORYN.”
Stand By as a piece of Music is peppy, catchy, upbeat and has this very hummable tune to it. The lyrics of the song however seems not find a unanimous approval with some saying that there is disconnect with the whole “sports” thing to it while others acknowledging the motivational spirit and coming together of people from different walks to stand by them and to be counted as their own. The video runs “cricketing” smoothly till 90 seconds but then kind of gets “run-out” in the second half with the seemingly forceful insertion of representatives, situations. Yes, its release is timely and it stands to be counted in all the promo that will hit the viewers till the end of the tournament,
Whether Stand By will achieve what it’s set out to do or not only the final overs shall tell. While teams like India will be strong contendors for the ICC World Cup, can this anthem rally the English Fans to standby their team when it comes to the last overs remains to be seen and we shall be in the third umpire’s seat to take a closer look when called upon. Play on !
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