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:
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.
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.
Fan Messages On Ground
During the ISL Finals, messages from Facebook fans were displayed on the perimeter boards at Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
Capturing Moments Off The Pitch
Throughout the season, the ISL welcomed fans and special guests from all over the world.
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
Chennaiyin FC takes fans along for a ride in the team bus:
Broadcast and Media
Sports publishers kept ISL fans updated and educated with exclusive videos.
Top 5 ISL Players on Facebook*
- Leonardo da Silva Moura
- Sunil Chhetri
- Robin Singh
- Eugeneson Lyngdoh
- Lucimar Da Silva Ferreira (Lucio)
Top 5 ISL Teams on Facebook*
*players/teams with verified Facebook pages, ranked by number of likes