Success Story: Rajasthan Royals Cricket Players Become Brand Storytellers and Light up Fan Engagement

Sports marketers at the Rajasthan Royals IPL cricket team are increasing fan engagement on social channels by turning cricket players into storytellers.

Rajasthan Royals player Varun Aaron in helmet. Players are driving fan engagement in cricket.

In this last year, sports have at times been on hold, in a ‘bubble,’ or otherwise out of bounds for fan engagement in venues. Sports marketers everywhere are finding innovative methods to keep their brands and athletes top of mind with both local fans and their worldwide communities of supporters.  

The Rajasthan Royals cricket team of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is leading the way on digital channels. With a loyal fanbase, they understand how critical fan support is to increase revenue. In 2020, they decided to push the envelope on direct athlete-fan connections on social media to help both the team and players expand their global influence and support their sponsors with more digital activation.

At the onset of the 2020 IPL season, the cricket team’s digital staff met this fan engagement challenge head on. They focused on capturing original quarantine moments from athletes and coaches living in a bubble environment. They requested and collected videos and photos from all players, then extended the reach of the Rajasthan Royals brand by sharing authentic, original and personal content with their fans. ‘Media co-creation,’ where these original videos are collected and edited by the marketing and creative department and shared on the team’s social media channels, is the cutting edge of sports marketing.

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“Athlete-created content is now outperforming our longer-form produced content. With Greenfly, the power to connect the Royals brand with our global fanbase and partners through our athletes has been quite transformational. The players have become our best creators and built their own personal brands while increasing the team’s brand awareness around the globe.”

 — Atishay Agarwal, Head of Content, Rajasthan Royals

The Rajasthan Royals story is a real-life example of plays found in Greenfly’s advocacy marketing playbook. This guide was written for digital teams who recognize that social media is the main forum for fan engagement today. Nothing beats original athlete content aligned with a strong brand. 

*Photo courtesy of Rajasthan Royals

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