With IPL creating waves with its 13th season, we take a closer look at the social media strategy of Chennai Super Kings and their yellow-hued fan-centric communication online.
As an Indian Premier League team, Chennai Super Kings stands out for its bright yellow identity and the captaincy of MS Dhoni. A lion’s ferocious roar is an essential part of their branding efforts. So is cultivating a community where fans would happily whistle in support. A quick scroll through the social media pages of Chennai Super Kings reflects a well-versed strategy that takes into account these factors. And, uses them as assets to create content and drive engagement.
Social Media Footprint
Chennai Super Kings enjoys a loyal fanbase of millions on various social media platforms. Some of the common elements in their communication include a strong focus on bright yellow visuals, quirky GIFs and memes and popular regional references for audiences that are well-versed in Tamil.
Facebook: 12.7 Million followers
Twitter: 6.1 Million followers
Instagram: 5.8 Million followers
Key Hashtags: #WhistlePodu #WhistleFromHome #Yellove
Most of the content they post is common across social media platforms, except for some text-only tweets that are put up when the matches are on. Also, Twitter is where they communicate with fans the most.
This year, the team has partnered with Trell, nudging people to create content on the platform. They are also sharing related content on other social media platforms to augment the reach of the campaign. The incentive for engagement and content creation includes prizes and goodies.
Live Updates on Twitter
While the team is playing on the field, tweets are put up to bring the action to Twitter as well as support the conversations being fuelled by fans. These are often quirky one-liner textual tweets, where key hashtags such as #WhistlePodu #WhistleFromHome #Yellove are used.
They also make use of a lot of emojis, especially the lion and yellow hearts. While interacting with fans, the tone is light and conversational. GIFs and memes are often exchanged, with various regional references thrown in to make the communication nuanced, interesting and relatable for fans who understand Tamil.
Slice of Game Action
The bright shade of their jersey presents an advantage to the Chennai Super Kings team. The players tend to stand out against the green of the field. The fast pace of the game, as well as the skills of those documenting it, help augment this effect and add to the visual aesthetics of their social media presence. Such pictures are often accompanied by one-liner captions.
Display of Fan Appreciation
Given how Chennai Super Kings is a team that has been a part of IPL since the beginning, it has been able to garner much appreciation and fan communities over the years. This, coupled with the undying love for cricket in India, often leads to tangible visuals that the team shares on social media to honour the love and respect fans for them.
This year, the sentiment also included hues of nostalgia for fans couldn’t be there to cheer for the team at the stands. Cheer-from-home was another prominent undertone in the communication.
Fan Generated Content
Fans are the lifeline of Chennai Super Kings’ social media communication. The team often amplifies the content created by fans in support. This helps boost the morale of content creator fans as well as add to the value and craze for the team.
Such content pieces include recorded performances, short humorous video clips and illustrations. The CSK theme song is often used as an element in such content pieces.
Upon usage/sharing, they are duly credited to the Super Fans who have created it. This year, such pieces were clubbed under #WhistleFromHome to depict how physical distance cannot dampen the spirit of the fans.
Irrespective of whether the Tamil script is used in textual communication, regional pride is a constant undertone in all of CSK’s social media content. The team is portrayed as the pride of Tamil Nadu and one that is loved by people there.
Recently, they had also put up pieces featuring Mrs Janaki, a school teacher’s character created by Chennai-based comedian, Abhishek Kumar. The collaboration helped them strengthen communication among audiences in the region.
As mandated, Chennai Super Kings has put up posts to announce sponsorships and collaborations with brands. While most such content features key players posing with or without products, in some cases the team and the brand have gone beyond the basics to show the collaboration.
To promote Clear Anti-Dandruff Shampoo, they co-created a property called the #SemmaClearHead. The campaign, in Tamil, targets regional audiences with product-centric communication. It also comes with a chance to win exclusive merchandise.
In the case of Fully Filmy, Basics and Nasher Miles too, interesting visuals were shared to communicate about the association.
- One of the most interesting aspects of the Chennai Super Kings’ social media strategy is how they leverage region-relevant content to communicate with their target audience.
- Another is how they acknowledge and encourage fans to support.
With everything going mostly virtual this year, these factors have become more important than ever before. It is indeed commendable how the team is keeping up the momentum online.