Smile Foundation organizes third edition of Ramp for Champs

| Marketing | February 27, 2013 | News

The third edition of Ramp for Champs, an initiative created by Smile Foundation in association with Prasad Bidappa, took place on Feb. 17 at ITC Grand Central Mumbai. The event was organized and executed by Smile Foundation, with the objectives of raising more funds in order to send more children to school, and sensitizing and involving civil societies and people from all walks of life in the process of improving the state of child education in the country.

The setup at the event, which saw a theatre styled setting, had a ramp walk stage with an electronic backdrop consisting of an LED screen. The LED screen saw rotational branding visibility with logo branding and corporate films being played on it. Apart from that there were two side panels with permanent branding visibility that included the logos of all sponsors. There was also a picture opportunity wall created in the lobby area of the venue which was where all the media activity for the event took place.

The event started with Prasad Bidappa addressing the gathering at the event, after which Meiyang Chang's brand new song, which was made in collaboration with Smile Foundation, was launched. After this the ramp walk started which comprised of three sessions with 12 people walking for each session. The first session was kick started with Claudia Cielsla walking the ramp. The second session saw the launch of the Opera Mini campaign called ‘Smile with Opera Mini', where every download of Opera Mini on a mobile would help Smile Foundation raise five rupees for the cause of education.

A performance by Remo D'souza and the cast of the movie ABCD took place before the start of the third ramp walk session. Finally after the third session ended, the showstopper took place which saw 40 kids from the Smile Foundation walk the ramp with the 36 different celebrities who had decided to lend their support to the event. This was finally followed by the addressing of the session which recognized and thanked all the brands that participated. The wine and dine session then officially started after the kids left the premises, and the bar was opened to the guests.

Commenting on the challenges faced while executing the event, Vikram Singh Varma, COO, Smile Foundation said: "This was the first time Ramp for Champs was hosted in Mumbai. It was difficult and different to host the event in the city because although the concept looked easy on paper, the actual execution part was something else altogether. A lot of celebrities also had to drop out last minute due to other commitments, so this led us to losing out on the presence of some key people. Other challenges came in the form of licensing for the event which created difficulties as the license segment is very different in Mumbai. Also being a first timer in the industry and not being from the event sector, things were a bit difficult as we did not have an event management company to manage the event."

As part of its CSR initiatives, WD partnered with the ‘Ramp for Champs' initiative to sponsor the education of 125 underprivileged children for a year. Commenting on how the association between Smile Foundation and WD came about, Khwaja Saifuddin, Sr. Sales Director, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Western Digital Corporation said: "The SMILE Foundation has been doing great work at the grassroots for child education for many years, and WD has supported their initiatives in the past. We had first partnered with SMILE for Diwali last year to commemorate the festival of lights in a meaningful way, with the underprivileged children of approximately 300 families that reside in the slums near Springdale School in Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi. When we heard about SMILE's Ramp for Champs initiative we were immediately keen to once again get involved with this very noble cause."

The event had a total of 19 sponsors and partners. Some of them included Jaguar Land Rover which was title sponsor, Opera Software which was core sponsor, Western Digital Corporation and LIC which were associate sponsors, ITC Grand Central Mumbai which was hospitality partner, Air France KLM along with Central Bank of India which were cause partners etc.

The event was promoted through outdoor, PR, social mediums such as Twitter and the Smile Foundation Facebook page along with the Facebook pages of all the celebrities who walked the ramp etc. There was also a live telecast of the entire event which was carried out by iStream.

The event saw around 370 people attend which included celebrities such as Hiten Tejwani, Kabir Singh, Pritish Nandy, Bhagyashree Patwardhan, Sara Loren, and Tisca Chopra to name a few. The participation of various celebrities and corporations in this event ultimately helped to raise funds to send some 1000 underprivileged kids to school.

The event is an initiative created by Smile Foundation in association with Prasad Bidappa.

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