By Asha Thacker, Sports Partnerships, India
30 million people joined the conversation on Facebook during the 9th edition of the Indian Premier League. With 360 million posts, comments, and likes, and over 140 million video views on the Facebook Pages of the IPL and 8 teams, this year’s tournament drove the highest level of conversation Facebook has measured for any IPL.
For the second year in a row, the most viewed video on Facebook during the IPL belonged to the bhangra dancing trio of Mandeep Singh, Virat Kolhi and Chris Gayle from Royal Challengers Bangalore. After wowing us with their dancing in the dressing room last year, this year’s celebration video from Mandeep Singh following their Raipur match received over 7 million views.
During the 50-day tournament, the Indian Premier League Facebook Page gained over 2 million fans to 18.3 million. Throughout the IPL, the league shared pitch reports, warm-ups, as well as in match highlight video clips and pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
The introduction of two new teams this season, the Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, played a significant role in Facebook conversations this season. Both teams embraced using Facebook to give fans never before seen access to players and owners.
The Rising Pune Supergiants shared the first ever 360 video from a cricket pitch.
During this IPL season, players also used Facebook to directly connect with their fans in personal, authentic ways.
Shikhar Dhawan kicked off the season with a Facebook live Q&A in advance of the opening ceremony in Mumbai.
IPL teams also collaborated with their players and fans to create unique Facebook and Instagram content to engage with fans. The Kolkata Knight Riders, the top IPL team on Facebook with over 14 million fans, created the exclusive video series #InsideKKR, as well as fun post-match Instagram Boomerang videos.
News and sports publishers, broadcasters, and personalities, including Ayaz Memon, Crictracker, Cricket Country, CricketNext, Firstpost, Hotstar, News18, Sportskeeda, Sky Sports, Shane Warne and The Quint, took to Facebook Live throughout the event to provide exclusive match commentary and analysis as well as engage and entertain fans during the IPL.
Instagram also played a role in facilitating conversations around the tournament. The league, players and teams all took to the platform to exclusively share their anticipations and excitement with fans including:
- Virat Kolhi’s ode to RCB Fitness Coach Shankar Basu
- Ravindra Jadeja’s exclusive wedding photo
- Chris Gayle baby “Blush” announcement and first photo
- AB de Villiers behind the scenes at a fun sponsor shoot
- Aaron Finch’s engagement announcement
- Shikhar Dhawan and his Sunrisers teammates attempting to sing their team song after qualifying for the IPL finals
- Yuvraj Singh dedicates the team’s championship victory to his injured teammate Ashish Nehra
- Kevin Pietersen announces his season ending injury
Fans on Facebook also got in on the action and demonstrated their support by adding team frames to their profiles. During the IPL frames were used over 9.5 million times by fans around the world.
IPL fans the world over joined the conversation on Facebook through dedicated prompts and messages.