In the annals of sporting history, ‘No. 10’ has been associated with some of the greatest legends. Greats such as Diego Maradona and Pele have worn the No. 10 jersey. To honour these once-in-a-generation players, their clubs have retired the No. 10 jersey from their roster as an acknowledgement of their gratitude and to leave an unambiguous legacy. Retired numbers are a common feature in football, ice-hockey, baseball and basketball.
Continuing the same legacy, Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indian undertook a similar initiative on Facebook and Twitter, requesting fans to express their gratitude to Sachin Tendulkar for his contribution and being the ambassador of sport. Tendulkar’s retirement from ODIs was an emotional moment for Indian cricket fans. The campaign was executed by Red Digital.
Commenting on the campaign strategy, Yashraj Vakil, CEO, Red Digital said, “We wanted to do something disruptive, larger than life and most importantly, get audience participation to honour the great legend instead of doing the same mundane activities that everyone would do with pictures, videos, tweets and wall posts telling people how great a player he was. The target audience was clear. It was everyone across the globe that is a fan of the game and the batting maestro. Thus, we decided to spread awareness amongst the fans, about the legacy that Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar leaves behind by launching a nationwide campaign.”
“We anticipated people to talk about the player and ambassador of the game that Sachin was, but it was important that we grabbed attention and indulged audiences in something bigger. For a sportsman, retiring the jersey he wore for a club or country is one of biggest honours and recognition that can be given, an event which has never happened in cricket,” added Vakil.
As part of the activity, Red Digital initiated a mass discussion using Mumbai Indian’s official Twitter handle, which has over 84,000 followers. Using the hash-tag RetireTheJerseyNo10, they shared Tendulkar’s remarkable achievements in the form of videos, pictures, quotes highlighting key milestones and why the jersey deserves retirement as well. Apart from this, they also engaged Mumbai Indian followers with Sachin trivia. The activity saw over 12,000 tweets in the span of three days, tagging ‘mipaltan’ and using #RetireTheJerseyNo10. Every 50 tweets with hash-tag RetireTheJerseyNo10 helped the brand reach over 87,500 people, creating more than 36 million impressions.
The agency simultaneously promoted this campaign on Mumbai Indian’s official Facebook fan page, which has over 2.9 million fans. This movement on Facebook resulted in over 28,000 shares, more than 175,000 likes and over 10,500 comments. The Facebook content reached 2.2 million people and generated over 7.7 million views.
Vakil shared, “Initially, the challenge was to get the hash-tag noticed as Sachin’s retirement resulted in many hash-tags, including his name, trending. The second was informing people what exactly retiring a jersey means and building support for it.”
He further said that the campaign will be taken forward and added, “We are planning to elevate this campaign further by launching an official petition application for #RetireTheJerseyNo10, where fans can cast their vote and showcase their support in honouring the legend of Sachin Tendulkar. We will measure all the votes we get on Facebook as well as track all the tweets we receive with the #RetireTheJerseyNo10 to count towards the votes and try to create a strong enough movement to have the jersey No. 10 retired.”