The biggest cricket party in India and (tiny) cricketing world, the Indian Premier League (IPL) starts tomorrow. For the next (almost) two months every fan is going to show off their cricket ‘knowledge’ and every brand is going to position itself closer to the event. This isn’t anything new, every sporting event of this magnitude, the football world cup, Wimbledon, Olympics, etc. brings out this fan and brand behaviour.
But sporting events are spectator sports, the audience is expected to watch, but go no further. For a TV only era, this model worked just fine: turn on the tube, call your friends, sit back and enjoy the game with a beverage of your choice. In the Social Media era, that doesn’t quite work. Fans will share links, they will tweet, they will post things on facebook and they will talk. For brands it thus makes sense to create a space where they can create some of the sports’ magic while channeling these fan conversations. In essence giving the fans something to interact with, while encouraging them to interact with one another.
Enter Fantasy Sports, an online game space for fans. From a limited (virtual) budget create your dream team for your favorite sport. Watch your scores rise as players you selected in your team, perform in the real world. For example, if you chose Yuvraj Singh for your fantasy team and he hits six sixes in six balls in the IPL, your score in fantasy game increases (by how much, depends on the rules of the game your playing). This IPL has brought fantasy sports to new crescendo. The BCCI’s entry in fantasy games proves that fantasy leagues started by other players (like ESPN CricInfo) work for player engagement.
Why am I telling you this?
This IPL we’re working on a promoting a fantasy cricket game, the aptly named ‘Cricket Fantasy’ (http://cricketfantasy.in/). Cricket Fantasy, has been developed for the web, iOS, Android (phones and tablets) by VR d MOB, BlueAnt Digital’s development partner. Unlike the fantasy games out there, Cricket Fantasy offers dynamic player pricing, integrated scouts space (that predicts games), fan forums for game discussions, a squad size of 15 players, an option to score points by predicting games and much more. Being an unofficial game though, it can’t use official jerseys or logos, something that we have to work around.
With BCCI’s belated entry into the fantasy games this IPL, promoting an unofficial game will have its challenges. At BlueAnt Digital, we feel that it’s challenge worth taking up. Here’s to two months of constant Social Media updates on everything cricket.
In the mean time, support the underdogs, go sign up for Cricket Fantasy here: http://cricketfantasy.in/