Written by Chandresh Narayanan | Mumbai | March 13, 2015 6:44 pm
Rishi Jaitly, Market Director, Twitter India and Southeast Asia, spoke to http://www.indianexpress.com about why this Cricket World Cup is truly the first-ever social World Cup. (Full Coverage| Points table| Fixtures)
Q) What are the different activations/innovations that twitter is employing at this Cricket World Cup?
At Twitter, we constantly work at enhancing our user experience. The ICC Cricket World Cup was a huge opportunity for us to do something unique and rewarding. So, we created a new special Cricket World Cup timeline that gives you scores, commentary and expert Tweets, expert analysis, photos and videos, and of course, our user Tweets. You can access the timeline using the hashtag #CWC15 or using the official match hashtag eg. #INDvZIM.
Apart from that, we’ve also created some exciting engagement ideas with our partners. The ICC has made it possible for users across the world to ask questions to winning captains during the post match interviews on-air. All users have to do is Tweet with the hashtag #AskCaptain and their question could be chosen amongst thousands of other fans across the world, every single match day.
Our Twitter Mirror has been successful in capturing some awesome, candid moments of the world’s top cricketers in moments of triumph and as Sachin Tendulkar with his Tweet during #INDvSA at the @SCG demonstrated to send messages along as well. We also have worked with the ICC using Vine to great effect, especially the Vine Booth 360.
With Star Sports, we’ve kicked off a quiz recently called Quizster which is a personalised quiz that users can play, and the winner will be able to meet the Star Sports commentary team in Mumbai. We’ve also worked with them to launch a feature called Cal Reply where a simple Tweet allows users to get their very own calendar of fixtures.
So far the response has been overwhelming and it’s also encouraging us to do more and more for the Indian cricket fan in the time ahead.
Q) How big were returns from the Indo-Pak match? Any pointers/stats that you can share with us.
The #IndvPak game was by far the most active cricket fans have been on Twitter. We saw a total of 118.3 million impressions with over 1.7 million Tweets during the match viewing window alone. If it is possible to hear the roar of the cricket fan online, this moment was very, very loud. We also had over 69 million impressions during the #IndvSA game and interestingly we’ve seen during that game that the game really came alive in the second half of the game as India moved closer to an unprecedented win over the Proteas. The indication of this is out of the five Tweet volume peaks, four occurred during the second innings. Given that Twitter is the default second screen of the sports fans, this is a great indication of how interest levels ebbed and flowed through the course of the game. Even the #IndvWI game saw a total of 40 million plus Tweet impressions despite the fairly quick victory for @BCCI.
Q) Are there any other marquee matches that Twitter is looking at very closely for traction?
It’s obvious, that globally the India games are a big draw and have a natural attraction for even the average cricket fan, but the Cricket Timeline is designed to ensure that no matter what the game or which team you support, each user gets the complete, deep experience for every game of the World Cup. We’re very excited to see how the knock out games shape up on Twitter as well.
Q) How would you measure the overall gains from the tournament?
Our mission in India has always been to connect every user to their world. With the World Cup, we have the chance to keep every cricket fan updated during the tournament, as well as with our partnerships and activations help make some of their dreams come true. While user growth remains a key aim for us, we would want every cricket fan and sports fan who is or isn’t a user to immerse themselves in this cricket timeline for a truly holistic experience.
Q) In comparison to the last World Cup, is this the most social World Cup?
This is definitely a Twitter World Cup. We have evolved in terms of our understanding of the sports fans in India given our work in the World T20 Championships, the Indian Premier League as well as all the other work we’ve done in other sports. Given that we have had over 260 million impressions just during the match viewing windows for the India games alone tells you that the cricket fan has taken to Twitter to voice their opinion as well as engage with experts and all the content that helps make Twitter a great viewing companion to live sport.
Q) In cricket which are the key focus areas/countries/regions for Twitter?
Naturally India with its massive cricket fan base and heritage in the sport is a key area. However, all cricket playing nations especially the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are natural focal points as well given their affinity for the sport.
Q) Do you think Twitter has well and truly emerged as second screen option for viewers/fans
Definitely. Whether it’s a fan trying to find out what the latest score is because he doesn’t have electricity in his hostel or whether it’s someone who wants to find out what her favourite cricketer hero thinks about that stunning catch, Twitter is their go-to destination. Think of it as a global viewing party. You can Tweet about stuff, you can hear and see all the golden content out there and you can participate in a way that is real time, conversational and global. You’re truly connected with not just your friends but those experts, those other fans who you may otherwise never have heard from. The extension of the second screen is also an innovations like #AskCaptain that is today giving a chance for a fan to make a real dream come alive by directly asking a question to a cricketing hero. So, I think it’s safe to say this is a #TwitterWorldCup.
Q) What are the other big innovations that twitter will be unveiling during the Cricket World Cup?
You’ll have to wait and watch.
Q) How is Twitter HQ viewing Cricket World Cup?
The fact that we’ve designed a special timeline for the Cricket World Cup which we’ve only done before globally for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 is the strongest indicator of how big a deal the World Cup is in Twitter HQ.
Q)Tell us something about your partnership with ICC for the World Cup?
We’ve worked with the ICC, who’ve been very responsive to launch the following integrations with Twitter:
#CWCDaily on Twitter Video Daily recap video on native video player
In case you missed any of the @cricketworldcup live action, @ICC will send a native Twitter video Tweet with #CWCDaily at the end of every match day. This is exclusive for people following the account and will have some of the best action from the game and expert views. The five minute show will go out each evening showcasing each key element of that matchday of the #CWC15.
By Tweeting to @ICC with the hashtag #AskTheCaptain, users across the world can even participate in the post match press conference of each game. One question from across the world will be picked up by the commentator and asked to the winning captain during the post match interview.
Twitter Voting Card: #PlayOfTheDay
At the end of each match day, users can get involved to decide which moment was the#PlayOfTheDay based on a shortlist by @ICC. To make the choice, users will simply have to click on a special Twitter Voting Card that @ICC will Tweet out for each of the 36 matches of the tournament.
In India, follow @ICC with a missed call
If you are in India and would like to receive Cricket World Cup Tweets from @ICC via SMS, they are just a missed call away. Dial 011-3049 6049 to get up to three Tweets from the @ICC account every day.
Chandresh Narayanan is a senior cricket writer having served in different roles across all mediums. He has ser...read more