At the start of the pandemic, sports have been on hold, held in a ‘bubble,’ or otherwise out of bounds for fans in venues. Sports marketers everywhere are finding innovative methods to keep their brands and athletes top of mind with both local fans and engaged with 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.
The Greenfly brand advocacy platform has helped the team turn over 40 cricket players into their best brand storytellers and drive triple-digit increases in digital fan engagement across multiple social media networks. By providing players with a simple way to capture and submit digital media — along with their original personal narratives about their ‘new normal’ living in a tournament bubble — the Rajasthan Royals introduced an entirely new level of fan engagement.
Photo; Courtesy of the Rajasthan Royals