The Telegraph
Thursday , April 4 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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United Sikkim bags Ranbir as mascot
- Bollywood leading man & Barcelona’s Indian face signs up with Bhaichung

Gangtok, April 3: He is the Indian face of FC Barcelona and now Ranbir Kapoor has become the brand ambassador for Bhaichung’s United Sikkim football club.

The Bollywood leading man who unusually promoted soccer, not cricket, in a Pepsi ad last year — the “Change the Game” campaign — wore a United Sikkim jersey at a charity football match at JN Stadium in New Delhi between cricketers and actors on Sunday.

United Sikkim co-owner Bhaichung Bhutia said: “Ranbir has agreed to become the brand ambassador for United Sikkim. We are friends and Ranbir has been showing interest in the club since its inception. When I asked him to become the brand ambassador for USFC on Sunday, he agreed and I presented him with the club’s jersey.”

Bhaichung added that the star, “would now be supporting and helping the club. Ranbir is a passionate footballer and a heartthrob. He has a huge fan following. We hope his fans would follow our club too.”

Ranbir, dressed in the United Sikkim jersey gave a mobile video message for the United Sikkim players on Sunday.

“To all the players in United Sikkim, all the best. You guys have a great leader in Bhaichung and I hope you guys take it up.”

The club manager Arjun Rai said the video went viral on the official USFC page on Facebook after it was uploaded.

Ranbir is not the only celebrity to have shown his support for the Sikkim club. There’s also the Dalai Lama. “Last week, the Dalai Lama also met Bhaichung and signed the club’s jersey. It is a blessing in the true sense,” Rai said.

Bhutia said: “We will try to get him for our matches either in Mumbai, Goa or Sikkim. If things work out, Ranbir could be watching our game in Gangtok.”

The match in Gangtok is part of the I-League and is scheduled for next month.

Ranbir is a football enthusiast and is the Indian ambassador for FC Barcelona, the Spanish football club for which Lionel Messi plays.