Cricket fans drove record-level conversations around IPL on Facebook this season. 30 million people joined the conversation on Facebook during the 9th edition of the Indian Premier League. With 360 million posts, comments, and likes, this year’s tournament drove the highest level of conversation Facebook has measured for any IPL. The Facebook pages of the IPL and 8 teams totaled over 140 million video views during the season.
RCB Captain and Player of the Tournament Virat Kohli was the most talked about player and new team Gujarat Lions was the most talked about team this season. For the second year in a row the most viewed video on Facebook during the IPL belongs to the bhangra dancing trio of Mandeep Singh, Virat Kolhi, and Chris Gayle, from Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Last year they wowed us with their dancing in the dressing room and this year the celebration video uploaded by Mandeep Singh following their Raipur match didn’t disappoint with over 7 million views.
During the 50-day tournament the Indian Premier League Facebook page grew by over 2 million fans to 18.3 million. Throughout IPL, the league shared pitch reports, warm-ups, as well as in match highlights video clips and pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
The introduction of two new teams this season, Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, played a significant role in Facebook conversations this season. Both teams adopted Facebook’s newest features giving fans never before seen access to players and owners.
Rising Pune Supergiants shared the first ever 360 video from a cricket pitch.
Gujarat Lions held numerous Facebook Lives with Owner Keshav Bansal as well as coach Brad Hodge.
During this IPL season players used Facebook to directly connect with their fans in personal, authentic ways. Shikhar Dhawan kicked off the season with a Facebook Live Q&A in advance of the opening ceremony in Mumbai
Team captain Rohit Sharma shared an emotional Thank You with fans following the Mumbai Indians’ last match of the season.
IPL teams also collaborated with their players and fans to create unique Facebook and Instagram content to engage with fans. Kolkata Knight Riders, the top IPL team on Facebook with over 14 million fans, created an exclusive video series #InsideKKR, as well as fun post-match Boomerang videos.
New and sports publishers, broadcasters and personalities, including Ayaz Memon, Crictracker, Cricket Country, CricketNext, Firstpost, Hotstar, News18, Sportskeeda, Sky Sports, Shane Warne, and The Quint took to Facebook Live throughout the event to provide exclusive match commentary and analysis as well as engage and entertain fans during the IPL.
Instagram also played a role in facilitating conversations around the tournament. The league, players and teams all took to the platform to exclusively share their anticipations and excitement with fans including:
- Virat Kolhi’s ode to RCB Fitness Coach Shankar Basu
- Ravindra Jadeja’s exclusive wedding photo
- Chris Gayle baby “Blush” announcement and first photo
- AB de Villiers behind the scenes at a fun sponsor shoot
- Aaron Finch’s engagement announcement
- Shikhar Dhawan and his Sunrisers teammates attempting to
sing their team song after qualifying for the IPL finals
- Yuvraj Singh dedicates the team’s championship victory to his
injured teammate Ashish Nehra
- Kevin Pietersen announces his season ending injury
Fans on Facebook also got in on the action and demonstrated their support by adding team frames to their profiles. During the IPL frames were used over 9.5 million times by fans around the world. IPL fans the world over joined the conversation on Facebook through dedicated prompts and messages.
Facebook managed to make the most out of the conversations that IPL fans created on the social media giant.