Bollywood comes to Chelsea

Bollywood comes to Chelsea

Chelsea Football Club are to play a leading part in one of the biggest Bollywood films of next year.

The double Premiership champions have teamed up with Yash Raj Films, the top production house of the Indian film industry.

The film, Jhoom, stars two of Bollywood’s biggest names, Abhishek Bachchan and Preity Zinta.

Bachchan, a Chelsea FC fan in real life, plays a character called Ricky who supports the club. The film is partially shot in London.

His father Amitabh Bachchan, arguably Bollywood’s biggest ever star, also has a cameo role.

Priety Zinta, Bollywood’s leading lady and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai and former Miss Universe Lara Dutta all visited Stamford Bridge recently to attend matches against Charlton and Liverpool.

Abhishek said: “The character I play in the film is a very loyal Chelsea fan. I have now had the chance to see Chelsea live after following them over the last few years and the club have given me a jersey with my character’s name Ricky on it, so that was fun.

“A friend of mine introduced me to Chelsea, I enjoy their football and the way they play. The Premier League is very popular in India and Chelsea has a huge support over there and it is growing all the time.”

Chelsea was approached by Yash Raj earlier this year with the story line for Jhoom which will be released next May. This could coincide with a possible Premiership “triple” if Chelsea successfully defends the title this season.

Chelsea’s Business Affairs Director Paul Smith said: “Naturally we are delighted to be involved in a Bollywood movie and we take it as a big compliment to be approached with this story line and to be associated with this calibre of actors and actresses.

“Bollywood is not just one of the most successful movie genres in the world, it is also one of the most successful art forms as it has a unique character and popularity.
“From a Chelsea perspective, we have been looking at ways to reach out to the Brit-Asian community and play a leading role by involving them more in football.

“We already host the Asian Cup Final, and have done so for several years, and we are now sponsoring a major Asian community award in London.

“But we are also looking to Asia, particularly India, as part of the strategy of extending the Chelsea brand into new markets. In contrast to the approach taken previously by other clubs, the Chelsea strategy is focused on media and the power of communicating the club’s image.

“Nothing compares with the glamour and appeal of Bollywood and its stars. Making a connection to the new football fans of India through Bollywood confirms Chelsea’s status as the leading Premiership club.”

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