As the Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 welcomes India's top 500 influencers as ambassadors, industry professionals offer insights on the potential impact of the collaboration
The International Cricket Council (ICC) embarked on a bold collaboration with Meta, bringing India's top 500 influencers on board as ambassadors for the Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
The initiative of sports infused with the dynamism of influencers makes cricket not just a game but a lifestyle for sports enthusiasts.
Guru Mishra, VP of Media Planning, RepIndia believes, "This is a welcoming and bold move taken by ICC. With an estimated of over 600 million viewership during the 48-match-long stretch, collaborating with prominent influencers to deliver personalised content is the most sensible thing to do. Rightfully, fans are always searching for more. They love BTS shots and want exclusive access." Mishra highlights the role played by Meta in ICC's fan-centric marketing efforts, emphasising Meta's exclusive digital content rights to reach fans and influencers.
The role of digital platforms and social media in cricket promotion has leveraged the power of Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Threads to provide fans with direct, real-time interaction with the influencers.
Among the 500 influencers, 50 super influencers will enjoy privileged access, sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes content with cricket enthusiasts across various platforms during all 48 matches.
Ayush Tiwari, Senior Media Manager - Client Servicing and Partnerships at Excellent Publicity, notes the transformation in promoting cricket tournaments through digital platforms and social media. He emphasises, "Digital platforms and social media have an extensive global reach, allowing cricket tournaments to tap into a wider and more diverse audience base. Real-time updates with social media platforms enable cricket tournaments to provide real-time updates on matches, including live scores, key moments, and highlights, keeping fans engaged and informed. Moreover, personalisation is a great takeaway as social media algorithms allow cricket tournaments to tailor content to individual preferences, enhancing their overall experience."
Making Cricket Accessible and Engaging
At the core of this marketing strategy lies the ICC's vision to make cricket a more accessible and engaging sport for fans all across the globe. By engaging influencers as relatable faces of the game, the ICC is democratising access, allowing fans to experience cricket beyond the stadium, and cultivating a sense of inclusivity and connection among enthusiasts.
Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO of iCubesWire, describes this collaboration as a forward-thinking approach to fan-centric marketing. He stresses, "By leveraging the vast reach and credibility of these influencers, the ICC taps into a younger, more digitally-savvy demographic, ensuring that cricket remains relevant and engaging for them. Unlike traditional ads, influencers also offer an organic touch to their content, making it more relatable to their vast audience, ensuring enhanced engagement due to the authentic connection influencers share with their followers."
The Bold Move
ICC's partnership with Meta represents the fusion of sports and technology, blurring the boundaries between fans, players, and influencers, creating an immersive, interactive ecosystem.
Mitesh Kothari, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at White Rivers Media sees this as a shining example of sports marketing embracing the digital age. He states, "In today's digital scene, the Indian ecosystem is also fuelled by two passions - content creation and cricket fandoms. ICC's collaboration with Meta's top 500 Indian influencers brings these two together superbly". He further added, "The collaboration goes beyond promoting cricket; it crafts compelling narratives fuelled by data-driven insights and a personal touch that resonates with fans. This partnership creates a dynamic, immersive cricket culture, forging deeper connections between the sport and its passionate followers. It's a prime example of how technology is reshaping sports marketing, forging deeper connections between the sport and its passionate followers."
As ICC welcomes influencers as ambassadors, it combines authentic fan experiences with influential voices, forming an immersive environment surpassing traditional advertising.
Looking ahead to the future of influencer marketing in sports, Tiwari underscores its potential for targeted and niche marketing, content diversity, and precise ROI measurement. He believes that this data-driven approach will optimise marketing strategies for future tournaments.
As the Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 starts today, the ICC and Meta collaborations are yet to unfold the cricketing experiences, ushering in an era where every fan can be part of the game.
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