With everyone wanting a piece of the IPL action, can the Internet be far behind? As the Tournament is inching towards an exciting finale, media and fan frenzy is only growing by the day. While evenings are spent following the matches on TV, the buzz in cyber space is no less with various websites dedicated to the eight IPL teams. exchange4media takes a look at what the Internet buzz is around the Delhi Daredevils, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Delhi Daredevils has created a one-point source for all information on its team online. The site went live on April 14 and claims to have got well over 30,000 registered fans within just two weeks of the launch and has already been rated the best IPL team site by Bangalore Times and Mid-Day. MTV Wassup has featured the Delhi Daredevils website as the coolest IPL website. The Daredevils channel on YouTube has been one of the most subscribed to and viewed channels in India.
Karl Gomes, Executive Creative Director - Digital, Arc Worldwide, said, “While the blogs and community forums and all information on www.delhidaredevils.com are getting the fans closer to their players, we have added a layer of social networking by recreating the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, currently in Beta being tested by fans. Social media has emerged as a very effective way to grow and increase audience engagement. However, the old cliché – ‘If you build it, they will come’ – does not apply. So, currently we are focusing on adding powerful interactive community applications and games to encourage fans to participate and cheer their team.”
“The Daredevils locker sets itself apart by providing exclusive content to fans in the form of candid player interviews, travelling with the team on the bus, peeking into practice sessions, etc. Besides this, we have recreated the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium online as ‘The Den’ for fans to hang out and chat. The chat application is unique as it lets users create an avatar and walk around the stadium while chatting with fellow Daredevils,” Gomes added.
The Chennai Super Kings website, too, aims to be a one-stop Net destination for any information on MS Dhoni and his Super King boys. In future, the website plans to start online sale of merchandise, besides promoting community and club activities. The website claims to have over 33,000 registered users with an average page view of 85,000 per day. The average time a user spends on the Chennai Super Kings website is seven minutes.
Rakesh Singh, Marketing Head, Chennai Super Kings, said, “To start with, the look and feel is unique and entirely different from any of the other IPL teams websites. The site has been taken from the promotional ad campaign of Karmayudh. Further, it contains all the information about the players, match schedules, theme song of the team and some very interesting photographs and video clippings. It has information on Chennai Super Kings ticketing and a facility for secured online purchase of tickets. Going forward, we would like to start the sale of merchandise and fan club activities using the website.”
“Currently, the website is primarily targeted to promote the Chennai Super Kings brand in India and overseas. If and when we get an opportunity for a sponsor of niche products for advertising, we may proceed further,” Singh said, adding, “Chennai Super Kings has been a brand by itself, thanks to all the promos and advertisements. The site has played an enormous role in terms of supplementing the efforts to the print, radio and TV media. To give an example, we have got enquiries for sale of merchandise from overseas based on clippings available in the site. It has given a tremendous value addition to the brand name.”
Shah Rukh Khan’s Kolkata Knight Riders team has developed their website to enable fans to interact with each other, the players and the team management. The website will create a unique online space around the Knight Riders franchise with cricket-based content and a fiction universe around the team.
The website has games, comics, animation, video and more content than any other IPL franchise. It also has a photo sharing application, where users can receive photos clicked by SRK and the team management on their mobile phones.
Prakash Kovelamudi, Director, Bellyful of Dreams, which has developed and manages the website for Red Chillies, said, “We have tied up with Zapak for gaming, Nokia for mobile content, contests2win for contests. We believe that they bring in expertise and value to provide our users with the best experience.”
The website is raising revenues by selling advertising. As the IPL evolves over the years, other revenue streams would become clear.
“The website is for passionate Kolkata Knight Riders fans, fans of SRK, Dada (captain Sourav Ganguly) and other team players. And also for people who would like to read good comics, play cool games and have a good time online. It creates a connected fan community that does wonders for the brand value and longevity,” Kovelamudi added.