As a part of our #PKL2019 series, Social Samosa deep dives into the U Mumba social media strategy, understanding how non-cricket sports are creating a strong foothold in the social world.
U Mumba has been a part of the ProKabaddi League since the beginning. They represent the city of Mumbai. As a team that has seen the progress up close, they feel a lot has changed in the last half a decade of ProKabaddi’s existence. For example, U Mumba bagged nine sponsors and eight partners this year, something that wouldn’t have been possible when they started off in Season 1, says Supratik Sen, Co-Founder, and MD, U Sports.
He adds that sponsors are now spoilt for choice, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending on which way you look at it. And, sports businesses have moved from quaint stadium officers to more professional setups.
As for social media, a lot has changed across the spectrum. It is important for teams to engage with their fans in the online world throughout the year and not just when the league is on. And, it is necessary to ensure that the interaction is two-way.
“We keep trying interesting ways to build engagement. It’s all about the right content mix to pique the interest of the fans,” says Supratik.
Social Media Footprint
Twitter: 131.4K Followers
Facebook: 1,054,045 Likes
Instagram: 163K Followers
U Mumba Social Media Strategy
U Mumba tries to create engaging content and give people an insight into the players, matches and behind-the-scenes action. There are two key objectives to their social media presence. These include engagement with fans and building the sport. The latter involves bringing in new audiences.
Contests are often run by the team pages in partnership with their sponsors, where fans stand a chance to win prizes. For instance, U Mumba initiated #IndigoPaintsSuperFan, wherein the customers have to answers trivia questions around the sport and the brand. For Haldiram, users had to solve simple team and sport trivial puzzles for a chance to win the brand goodies.
Contests are one of the best avenues for them to engage with their followers and keep them hooked in exchange for a reward.
Supratik says, “As a team, we always get messages from fans, asking if they can be a part of the team — as a player or even a team support staff. Keeping this in mind, we created a character called Common Redkar.”
Redkar is a superfan from Mumbai, trying his best to be a part of the squad. He pesters the players to include him in the team and their kabaddi drills.
The use of vernacular in every post attempts to give a more inclusive approach.
The content featuring U Mumba team players often gives us a candid glimpse into their worlds, showcasing the vulnerabilities behind a sport that’s known for the display of strength. This includes the players having fun on an off day or catching up with folks.
With a lot of conversations going around the health regime of athletes in the country and practice & training being an integral part of their daily routine, they form quite a big part of the behind-the-scenes footage shared on their pages.
With fitness mania catching up and enthusiasts often looking for and mimicking celebrity workouts, this content makes for an engaging and sticky bit.
Topical content has also been an integral part of their strategy, with U Mumba posting their two bits on Janmashtmi and sharing a Sacred Games reference.
Targetting their loyal fans, U Mumba also dishes out small engaging puzzles, to keep the buzz going.
To sum up
Two of the most used hashtags on the social media pages of U Mumba are #Mumboys and #MeMumba. These are used to drive engagement and run contests. Individual players are often highlighted in the process. #HowsTheJosh is another popular hashtag in use.
Live-tweeting forms a significant part of the content they put up. These tweets are often textual with a few GIFs thrown in the mix. Post-match, they also share highlights with compelling images.
Since travel and practice sessions are quite a big part of their schedules, they form quite a big part of the behind-the-scenes footage shared on their pages. Content across all their social media platforms is the same.