Here’s how Kolkata Knight Riders were able to make the most of topical conversations and sentiments in their marketing strategy this year by leveraging all things Bengal and Pujo.
From Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re to Laphao, the Bengali pride has always been a key part of the Kolkata Knight Riders marketing strategy. The aura and pull of Shah Rukh Khan is another key factor that works well for the team, especially when it comes to visual communication.
2020 was an interesting year for the team as this was perhaps the first time they were able to leverage Pujo emotions while the league was on. We take a look at how they made the most of it online.
Social Media Footprint
Kolkata Knight Riders is one of the oldest IPL teams, helping them garner millions of fans over the years. They are strategic with their usage of visuals and platforms, optimising content as per situations. On Facebook and Instagram, they mostly share visuals with crisp captions. On Twitter, their communication is more snackable, produced for quick real-time consumption.
Facebook: 16.2 Million followers
Instagram: 2.1 Million followers
Twitter: 4.1 Million followers
Key Hashtags: #KKRHaiTaiyaar #Laphao #TuFanNahiToofanHai
Slice of Action
While most of the content put up on Twitter is mostly same as Facebook and Instagram, Twitter plays a vital and unique role for the team when a match is on.
They use the platform to share quick updates and commentary. Polls are used to drive engagement. In terms of visuals, assets featuring players are used and so are GIFs, memes and short videos with elements such as yellow taxies that one can easily associate with Kolkata.
Theme songs are key to the brand identity and marketing strategy of Kolkata Knight Riders. Multiple songs have been released over the years. They always have certain common elements in them: SRK is an important part of the narrative, visuals include fans and cityscape and a Bengali phrase is used to tie the entire thing together. This year too, a song was released and promoted on social media.
The SRK Factor
Shah Rukh Khan is just as important as Kolkata to the brand identity of Kolkata Knight Riders. He attends the matches to cheer for the team, the visuals of which are used for social media promotions. His charm and Bollywood connect helps the team create content, sell merchandises as well as enjoy the support of Red Chillies Entertainment on social media.
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🚨 Merch Alert 🚨 Bringing to you the #LimitedEdition KKR jerseys signed by the 👑 himself. The proceeds from the sale will go towards providing smart devices to underprivileged youth to support digital learning in partnership with @meerfoundationofficial and @magic.bus Head to the Link in bio NOW! @fanhoodstore @iamsrk #LAPHAO #KKRHaiTaiyaar #Dream11IPL
This year, the matches are being held in Dubai and thus there was a ‘being away from home during Pujo’ sentiment that Kolkata Knight Riders was able to leverage in their social media communication and marketing strategy. This included multiple posts around the festival and what it means for the people of Kolkata and West Bengal.
The team often uses Bengali in their social media posts, especially when the communication demands regional connect and emotions. Often, they share pictures of the city they represent. Images of the yellow taxi can be seen in multiple posts across social media.
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শুভ মহাঅষ্টমী: অন্তরের আলো জালিয়ে নিয়ে এগিয়ে চলুন I বিজয়ের পথে আজ জীবনের নতুন আধ্যয় শুরু I নিজের আলোয়ে অন্যের জীবন প্রকাশিত করে তুলুন l Day 8: Shubo Maha Ashtami : Light the inner flame to lead the road to victory. Today is the beginning of a new chapter in the journey of life. Shine your light on someone else’s life too. #ShubhoAshtami #DurgaPuja2020 #KKR #Dream11IPL
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শুভ বিজয়া Amidst the subdued yet creatively inspired #DurgaPuja celebrations this year, Artisan Indrajeet Pal’s Coronasur strikes a powerful chord with the Kolkata spirit as we continue to fight against an invisible enemy. Watch the journey behind this unique concept. 📹 #KKRHaiTaiyaar #Dream11IPL #DurgaPuja2020 #ShubhoBijoya
Leveraging Fan Love
The theme song released by the team makes it easy for fans to create content to express their support on social media. Fans are able to use the song to create videos of themselves either singing or dancing to the tunes, propelling the efforts put in by Kolkata Knight Riders to execute their marketing strategy. Other than this, the team also often shares bytes of fans talking about what the team and their wins mean to them. Also, the fans of the team are called Toofani Fans.
Do the Knight Thing
To celebrate the people of Kolkata and keep netizens engaged, Kolkata Knight Riders have created and shared several episodes of Do the Knight Thing this year. Each video is several minutes long and depicts an emotional story of someone from Kolkata, who is a fan of the team and has done some good for others. These are feel-good stories that help the team connect with people and give back to the fans.
Focus on Players
Players are the heart of any sporting team and the Kolkata Knight Riders are no exception. They often feature pieces of content with a focus on players. They are either individual shots or team huddles. Either way, the players are almost always in the jersey, helping create visuals that add to the efforts in creating a strong brand identity for the brand.
Since IPL is a celebration that goes way beyond just cricket, extra shots help build multiple narratives to keep people hooked. From behind the scenes at the stadium to candid glimpses into the lives of the cricketers, a lot is communicated in such visual assets. They help fans understand the team and the players better, adding to their affections.
By majorly posting pictures of players in jerseys, focussing on how it is an important part of cheering for the team and using the charm and appeal of SRK, Kolkata Knight Riders have been able to create a demand for their jerseys. This, coupled with the support of merchandising partners, helps them sell t-shirts (and masks this year) and build a fandom.
- Regional pride is key to an IPL team’s identity and Kolkata Knight Riders have been able to use the language, cityscape, festival and other key visual elements to leverage those emotions and better connect with their fans online.
- Merchandising helps create a fandom but also needs a lot of build-up in terms of visuals for adequate demand. Social media can help for the same, as can be seen from the marketing strategy of Kolkata Knight Riders.