#PKL2019: Decoding UP Yoddha Social Media Strategy

Being a fairly younger team on the kabaddi block has made brand building an essential part of the UP Yoddha social media strategy. Social Samosa takes a look at how they are leveraging various platforms.

UP Yoddha started its Pro Kabaddi League journey in Season 5. Being a comparatively younger team in the line-up this season, they are still in the brand establishing and building stage.

The team hopes to create a persona that portrays them as fun, passionate, aggressive, young, eye-catching and bold — an embodiment of what kabaddi as a sport stands for, says Aditya Gaur, Digital Manager, UP Yoddha. 

“Though we are using all media avenues for communication — TV spots, radio, print, digital, and on-ground activations, social media is at the forefront of our brand-building exercise,” he says.

Through social media, their social media team has been able to profile players and the sport.

“The idea is to make faces in the UP Yoddha squad prominent as hero-building is the need of the hour,” he explains.

The efforts put in to establish the identities of the players include two kinds of imagery — rough and tough, and candid, fun-loving. Together, these are helping them establish a wholesome identity that helps them become likeable.

Also Read: #PKL2019: Decoding Haryana Steelers Social Media Strategy

Brand associations

The business of sports has become exponentially commercialised in the last decade. Brands are now more aware of the marketing power of a sports team. “We have partnered with multiple brands ranging from mobility to technology,” he explains the way associations are formed.

There are two prominent brand integration strategies at play — on-ground events where players get to interact with fans and product endorsement/advertisements where players play the role of brand ambassadors.

Social Media Footprint

Facebook: 368, 257 likes

Twitter: 25.5K followers

Instagram: 68.9K followers

UP Yoddha Social Media Strategy

UP Yoddha uses YouTube to put up long-form videos for fans to consume. While Twitter goes big with updates on matchdays, Instagram is the space to share pictures and videos of everything that the team does.

In regards to Facebook, they are trying to effectively use the available tools to reach out to a wider audience. On the technical end, they closely work with all major social media partners, including new entrants like Snapchat and TikTok

With Gautam Gambhir as their brand ambassador, they have been able to connect with sports enthusiasts. “Our ad film perfectly captures the sentiment of our team and UP. With Gautam on board, we released it just before the season started,” says Aditya. 

When it comes to core objectives, they want fans to get familiar with kabaddi teams and the game, and get a sense of being the force that drives the team. “Our social media pages and website become one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to know what UP Yoddha is. We also have video buckets that help a fan get inside access to everything UP Yoddha.” 

Who was your Tata Motors 'Yodha of the Day'?#SaansRokSeenaThok #YoddhaHum #ProKabaddi #UPvPUN

Posted by UP Yoddha on Monday, 26 August 2019

One of the most striking thing about the social media presence of UP Yoddha is how they add a layer of rough golden hues to the faces of the players featured in the creatives. This minor tweak goes a long way in helping them establish their brand identity of kabaddi warriors.

Taking the bottle cap challenge! #LePanga #Allset #YoddhaHum ?

Posted by Rishank Devadiga on Thursday, 4 July 2019

Following marketing and digital trends to create a buzz has been helping kabaddi teams. It brings along digital media coverage too. Aditya tells us how the bottle cap challenge, performed by Rishank Devadiga, was picked up and promoted by PKL and Star Sports.

The team continuously makes efforts to engage with people. At times, they put up posts where merchandises are promised against participation.

In between creatives and match updates, we can often see glimpses of conversations with the coach that help provide context to their gameplay.

To sum up

The team has been using #SaansRokSeenaThok and #YoddhaHum in all their posts across social media. These are often accompanied by trending hashtags and prominent league hashtags at play. It helps create consistency in the brand’s content and increases searchability. The warrior effect to the creatives put up by the brand is a big plus that helps them stand out.