Why is IPL 2024 outshining T20 World Cup in social media engagement?

While the shorter format of the game always remains a gripping affair for fans, a report from Qoruz paints a surprising picture of social media influencer engagement for the Men’s T20 World 2024–with IPL 2024 contrastingly performing better. Experts discuss potential causes of this anomalous instance.

Harshal Thakur
New Update

It is common knowledge that the IPL is a mega event for advertisers every year and has been growing each year in terms of its size and monetary expenditure. This rise is consistent with social media as more and more influencers have been associating with the high octane event. 2024 witnessed a substantial number of influencers either associating themselves with teams or making content around the tournament. With this, the engagement on social media flourished significantly as a diverse set of audience got invested into the happenings of the league. 

Notwithstanding IPL’s popularity, the craze for the national team among fans has never been unknown. Fans have been going to extreme lengths to showcase their love and affection for team India. This fan craze touches newer heights during ICC tournaments when teams from around the globe battle for world glory. 

An exclusive report from Qoruz shared with Social Samosa points to an interesting phenomenon taking place during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024. Contrary to what conventional wisdom would tell us, this year’s World Cup is trailing far behind the IPL when it comes to social media buzz and influencer activity. 

The report states that influencer activity has taken a hit as only 12K influencers are active during the T20 World Cup as opposed to over 60K social media influencers generated content around IPL 2024. 

Further, the report reveals that IPL 2024 content achieved an engagement rate of 2.89 whereas the T20 World Cup saw an engagement rate of approximately 1.2 with the notable exception of hashtag #INDvsPAK during the India vs. Pakistan match which reached an engagement rate of 4.7.

The findings seem contrary to the kind of numbers one might hope an event of such stature would garner. 

Dissecting the probable causes of these observations, Mothi Venkatesh, Head of Growth at Qoruz, says, “One reason could be the overall branding of the IPL which has always been a bigger event than the World Cup because of the influence across tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 regions. The IPL creates micro-clusters statewide rather than one whole nation, which could be why supporters have multiple clusters for the IPL, rather than the World Cup.”

IPL features teams from across the country resulting in multiple hotspots for engagement around the nation. Fans are divided across teams which leads to competitive enthusiasm every year as teams come up with new combinations and shuffle players every edition resulting in captivating match-ups. 

This still does not account for such a difference in numbers given the World Cup’s legacy and scale.  

Anirudh Sridharan, Co-Founder and Head of Growth at HashFame, notes that cricket fatigue could be another possible reason behind this anomaly. He says, “There is a lot of fatigue that sets in. The IPL is not a one or two-week tournament; it's almost a 50-60-day tournament. By the end of it, you've supported your favourite team passionately. There should have been some level of breather. Some players from England and Bangladesh had to leave the IPL midway to join the World Cup preparation camps. The lack of a breather is another reason, as there is only so much intensity that can be sustained over a long period.” 

When the World Cup began, the pitches, particularly the pitch in New York received backlash for uneven bounce and seemingly unpredictable behaviour. This led to a lot of low-scoring matches–which could have been unusual for Indian fans who had become accustomed to watching high-scoring matches in the IPL given the flat pitches and the impact player rule.  

Sridharan however, does not think that the low-scoring matches might have made a big difference. “The associate nations have been playing well–like the Netherlands and USA–with some major upsets. There's been a lot of drama and entertainment, but our attention and intensity in supporting our teams are in short supply,” he remarks.

Instead, Sridharan accounts it to the timings of the matches and an anchoring effect. “I think it's the anchoring effect. Had this happened in October, people would have forgotten about the IPL. Just because the IPL got over in May and we started this in June, there's always this recollection of, ‘Oh, you know what? Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma came and scored 70 runs in the power play.’ That's always going to be at the back of your mind.”

Another factor that seems to have played a role in high influencer engagement during the IPL is the fact that IPL teams have well-curated social media pages managed by specialised teams. 

The report notes that the IPL uses more innovative strategies as opposed to the World Cup. It employs cutting-edge marketing strategies, including behind-the-scenes content, fan contests, and interactive posts, which keep the audience hooked. The T20 World Cup, on the other hand, tends to use more traditional methods of fan engagement.

The difference in engagement however, does not seem to be clear cut in IPL vs. World Cup scenario. 

In 2023, a report by Qoruz outlining the contrast between the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and the 2023 IPL showcased a different story. It revealed that the 2023 IPL garnered approximately 55K social media influencers generated content whereas the World Cup saw around 70K influencers being active. 

This popularity of the 2023 World Cup could be attributed to the fact that the One-day World Cup occurs every four years, making it a highly anticipated event. Additionally, the lengthy format of 50 overs did not seem to tire the audience out as cricket fatigue seems to have been countered by the gap of four months between the events.  

Qoruz’s report this year reveals that IPL 2024 had over 928 million engagements. On the other hand, the T20 World Cup 2024 had garnered 162 million engagements up till June 11. Out of these, over 60% interactions occurred during the India vs Pakistan match.

While the possibility of another India vs. Pakistan match has been negated by the qualification of the USA in the next stage, the upcoming Super Eight stage and the subsequent knockout matches in the West Indies could present a silver lining in terms of social media engagement as possibility of high scoring, nail-biting encounters rises.    

India v/s Pakistan IPL 2024 Engagement Rate Social Media Engagement influencer activity influencers generated content Qoruz