A report released by Maxus MESH puts the total number of mentions for IPL 9 in excess of 3 million across the digital medium. An analysis of the mentions shows that buzz around the competition started picking up towards the middle of the tournament, finally eclipsing buzz generated last year around Week 4.
Despite this, the report says that total mentions of #PepsiIPL, the official hashtag used last year were far in excess of #VivoIPL, which is the official hashtag for the tournament this year. In fact, according to MESH’s numbers #PepsiIPL had a total of 456,943 mentions last year as opposed to #VivoIPL, which had 240,164 mentions this year, almost half the mentions as compared to last year.
However, this did not stop mobile handset manufacturer Vivo clocked the maximum mentions with #VivoIPL among the sponsors, followed by Kingfisher’s #UnitedbyGoodTimes and Freecharge’s #LoDoKhatamKaro.
Other brands have also been aggressively utilizing the microblogging platform to engage with IPL fans. For example, Twitter partnered with Vodafone to create the Vodafone emoticon, becoming the first corporate brand in India to do so. The platform has also pursued tie-ups with most of the other major sponsors of the IPL to carry out various new initiatives during the tournament.
According to the Maxus MESH report, Vodafone’s hashtag #BeSuper was used 51,572 times; making it one of the most used hashtags in IPL9 and the most popular among telecom brands.
Lloyd’s #PlayBeBoldBeHappy (20,318) and Ola’s #Olamatchmania (28,594) were some of the other campaigns that did well on social media according to Maxus MESH.
Among the teams, Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challenge Bangalore were the top two most mentioned teams with the latter overtaking KKR in the last week by reaching the finals. Sunrisers Hyderabad, by virtue of winning their first IPL trophy, also saw a marked increase in mentions in the last week, finally ending as the third most talked team of the season.
Virat Kohli’s form on the pitch also saw him become the most talked about player on social media with a staggering 533,821 mentions. AB De Viliers (229,831 mentions) and MS Dhoni (157,955 mentions) were the other most talked about players that create a lot of buzz online.
Interestingly, data released by Twitter shows that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has overtaken major sports leagues like UEFA Champions League, National Football League (NFL), NBA and Major League Baseball (MLB) over the last three years in terms of follower growth on Twitter. The official hashtag for the tournament (@IPL) has seen a higher follower growth than that of the most followed accounts of four other major sports i.e. football, basketball, American football and baseball, says Twitter.
Twitter tracked the activity of the different leagues between 2014-2016 and determined that IPL’s follower count grew 300 per cent with the UEFA Champions League coming second among major sports properties with a 239 per cent growth rate. According to Twitter, IPL 9 has also seen the most videos tweeted in a season with an increase of 32 times over 2015 and Twitter video views grew 64 times over 2015 for the league stage. As a result, the IPL also saw 50 per cent more engagement on Twitter, said the company.