Cricket fans set for new innings on Webhttps://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/cricket-fans-set-for-new-innings-on-web/

Cricket fans set for new innings on Web

Websites are providing ball-by-ball coverage in real time.

The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Anti-Corruption and Security Unit might have barred players,team coaches,managers and match officials from mobile tweeting during World Cup matches,but there is no dearth of options for cricket enthusiasts to get live scores,commentary,news and videos on the Internet platform. Social networking sites,cricket portals and Internet fan sites are bringing ball-by-ball coverage in real time,to millions of netizens across the globe.

While Facebook (FB),through its multiple cricket groups and World Cup ‘Fan Pages’ get experts,fans,and followers of the game to discuss,debate,analyse every ball and upload match videos,micro-blogging site Twitter allows live tweets from commentators,spectators,TV audiences and other users. Twitter brings about an integration of the cell-phone and web platform,through its many mobile-tweeting applications,allowing users to seamlessly exchange information on the web through their mobile handsets. It is fast,immediate and highly effective,say social media experts.

On video sharing website YouTube,users can upload and share match videos and view highlights of the game. Besides,ICC World Cup 2011’s official website in association with Yahoo! India — iccevents.yahoo.com — provides a one-stop online destination for proceedings of the Cup. Yahoo also hosts ‘Commentweeter’,which provides a single-page view of all Twitter updates on the event. Users can also shop through the site for ICC merchandise and official World Cup memorabilia.

ESPN,the official broadcaster of the tournament,is providing ball-by-ball action on the Web through its cricket portal Cricinfo. The site offers desktop widgets,which users can download,mobile applications for iPhone and Android handsets,a mobile site,a Facebook page and a Twitter handle through which live scores and stats can be obtained. Cricinfo’s ‘Fantasy Cricket League’ lets you experience nail-biting moments of the Cup,and gives you an opportunity to compete and win prizes.

Advertising

As cricket euphoria sweeps the nation,youth brands like Pizza Hut and Adidas have also cashed in on the cricket frenzy through innovative social media campaigns. Gaurav Hajela,social media consultant,Pathfyynder Solutions says,“Just as retail vies for footfalls,social media vies for clicks and hits. Providing live updates and trivia on your site is just an excuse to engage your prospective consumer.”

In the last three months,Pizza Hut witnessed a 300% growth in its ‘Pizza Hut Celebrations’ page on FB, where users can print a voucher to avail a free meal in any Pizza Hut outlet,every time a batsman crosses 99 runs. Anup Jain,director — marketing,Pizza Hut India says,“Our FB page has crossed the 1- million mark and with our World Cup campaign,we look to establish ourselves as a youth brand on the web.”

On the other hand,the ‘adidascricket’ fan page on FB has over 1.7 lakh fans and continues to grow. Tweets of Adidas brand ambassadors,Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag,are streamed and made visible on the page. It also contains interesting games,live updates,trivia and the first ever fantasy league on FB.