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