By Asha Thacker, Strategic Partner Development – Sports, India

This week, the second season of the Indian Super League (ISL) wrapped up.  Throughout the competition, Facebook was the prime platform for millions of people to discover ISL related content, receive live updates, connect with players, teams and news outlets, and discuss matches with friends.

From September 30 to December 20, 12 million people had 38 million interactions on Facebook.

ISL Player Auctions

Though the league kicked off on October 3rd in Chennai amidst celebration and fanfare, the ISL campaign on Facebook began earlier in July 2015 with the first ever Player Auction for the league. The live auction TV broadcast was complemented with exclusive behind-the-scenes content from the Auction.

Ranbir Kapoor, co-owner Mumbai City FC, shares his excitement about the impending auction with fans of his team:

 

Seityasen Singh gives his thoughts on being selected by NorthEast United:

 

Marquee Announcements

We partnered with Delhi Dynamos FC and FC Pune City to exclusively announce the signing of a number of key players and a manger: Roberto Carlos, John Arne Riise, Florent Malouda and Adrian Mutu. The #OlaCarlos announcement featured videos from former teammates, David Beckham, Ricardo Kaka, Zinedine Zidane, Marcelo Vieira, Ronaldo Nazário de Lima and Cafu.

David Beckham lets Delhi Dynamos FC fans know how lucky they are to have Roberto Carlos on their team:

 

#LetsFootball: Banter & Battle

As the league launch date approached, the team owners came together to promote the league in this Facebook first video:

 

ISL Media Day

The first ever ISL Media Day brought the media and top international and Indian players together at a scale never seen before.  The league let fans experience media day through this Facebook exclusive video:

 

Robin Singh gave fans a look at the day in the life of a player on ISL Media Day:

 

The ISL: Let your friends know you’re watching!

For the first time for a sporting event in India, fans could join the conversation on Facebook through dedicated prompts in the composer section of their profile.

ISL

 

LIVE from the ISL

For the first time in history, the ISL gave fans unprecedented, behind the scenes access to players and talent through Facebook live broadcasts throughout the season.

Chennaiyin FC‘s Bernard Mendy answers questions Live on Facebook prior to the ISL Finals:

 

Sunil Chhetri answers questions from fans Live on Facebook:

 

“Let’s Football” host, Seema Jaswal, goes Live on Facebook from the Star Sports studio in between shots:

 

Match Day Playbook: Using GIFs to Share Match Moments

Launched in October, the ISL immediately adopted the new GIF feature on Facebook to share match highlights and defining plays every day.

Stiven Mendoza’s winning goal in the ISL Finals:

 

Exclusive On-Pitch Post Match Reactions

Helping bring fans closer to the game and their favorite players, the league shared exclusive player reactions after every match. The videos were shot pitch side immediately after the match concluded to give fans unique insights into the thoughts of key players.

Delhi Dynamos FC player, John Arne Riise, gives his thoughts on his team’s performance:

 

ISL Player of the Week

Using Facebook’s native polling feature, the ISL conducted a weekly poll to determine the ISL Player of the Week.  The polls were promoted by Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the league during its “Let’s Football” show.

 

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Fan Messages On Ground

During the ISL Finals, messages from Facebook fans were displayed on the perimeter boards at Fatorda Stadium in Goa.

LEB boards during the Final of the Indian Super League (ISL) season 2 between FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Goa, India on the 20th December 2015. Photo by Vipin Pawar / ISL/ SPORTZPICS

Capturing Moments Off The Pitch

Throughout the season, the ISL welcomed fans and special guests from all over the world.

Kerala Blasters co-owner Sachin Tendulkar takes a pitch side shot with the crowd at the team’s first home match:

 

The legend himself, Pele, posed for a selfie with Mrs Nita Ambani and Atlético de Kolkata co-owner, Saurav Ganguly, at a match in Kolkata:

 

Authentic Player, Manager and Team Posts

Throughout the tournament, players. manager and teams used Facebook to share behind-the-scenes moments and communicate directly with fans through photos, videos and Live Q&As.

Players and Managers

FC Goa manager, Zico shares a moment with Delhi Dynamos manager Roberto Carlos:

 

Arata Izumi with teammates Iain Edward Hume and Sameehg Doutie on route to the Semi Finals in Kolkata:

 

Teams

Chennaiyin FC takes fans along for a ride in the team bus:

 

FC Pune City released their official anthem featuring team co-owner Hrithik Roshan exclusively on Facebook: 

 

 

Broadcast and Media

Sports publishers kept ISL fans updated and educated with exclusive videos.

Star Sports brings in stars including Olympic medalist Mary Kom to chat about Indian Football and the ISL:

 

SportsKeeda clears up 5 things fans need to know about about the Indian Super League:

 

Goal.com India talks to fans outside the FC Goa stadium before the semifinal game:

 

Top 5 ISL Players on Facebook*

  1. Leonardo da Silva Moura
  2. Sunil Chhetri
  3. Robin Singh
  4. Eugeneson Lyngdoh
  5. Lucimar Da Silva Ferreira (Lucio)

 

Top 5 ISL Teams on Facebook*

  1. FC Pune City
  2. Kerala Blasters
  3. Delhi Dynamos FC
  4. Mumbai City FC
  5. FC Goa

*players/teams with verified Facebook pages, ranked by number of likes