By Saurabh Doshi, Facebook Media Partnerships – India

Facebook brought millions of cricket fans together during the 2015 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, sustaining the momentum of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. More than 29 million people generated 312 million posts, comments and likes about the IPL Season 8 on Facebook between April 1 and May 24, worldwide.

This year’s IPL tournament will be remembered for a thrilling quest for the championship, and Facebook was the go-to platform for information, analysis and commentary about every aspect before, during and after matches. For example:

IPL posted in-match highlight video clips and pictures to share key moments from matches throughout the season. In addition, Facebook Fan Maps showing state-wide team allegiances across India aired live on TV and online stream during match broadcasts and on the IPL website:

As the digital rights-holder for IPL, HOTSTAR also posted in-match highlight video clips in a series called “HotStar of the Match” for Facebook fans to catch the best moments of the game:

The most discussed players during the final match were:
1. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)
2. MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)

During this IPL season, numerous players used Facebook to directly connect with their fans in personal, authentic ways. Virat Kholi recorded video messages exclusively for fans while leading team #RCB. He posted this heartwarming video on Mother’s Day:

The first picture of MS Dhoni’s daughter Ziva was shared on Facebook by the proud father himself while traveling for the next #CSK match:

#RCB posted this video from the locker room of Mandy, Chiku and Gayle celebrating their victory against #KKR:

This IPL season was unique as teams collaborated with their athletes to create exclusive Facebook video series that allowed fans to directly interact with their favorite players. Delhi Daredevils created a Q&A series #AskADilliBoy in which players answered fan questions:

Hyderabad SunRisers created the “Get Ready to Ask” series for fans to connect with players:

Kolkata Knight Riders created a series called #KutScenesWithKKR with various fun and amusing themes:

Media organizations and cricket publishers kept IPL fans updated with bulletins and newscasts. ABP News created a one-minute video series of IPL Match Updates to summarize matches:

India Today Group had experts and anchors provide match analysis in the video series #IPL with FB:

Network18 produced a special round-up of top IPL news and analysis called Cricketainment:

ESPN Cricinfo created “The Huddle” video series featuring a panel of experts dissecting the game, the “LetsTalkAbout” video series featuring fans, and also posted the latest news around IPL games:

Cricbuzz was a hub for IPL news and posted galleries of match photos with interesting captions:

Finally, introduced for the first time for a uniquely Indian event, a Live Trending Experience allowed Facebook fans to follow action around the IPL and converse with friends, teams, and players.