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3 marketing insights to elevate your cricket season strategies



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May 1, 2024 | 5 min read

As we witness one of Asia’s biggest sporting seasons led by a widely popular cricket tournament, discover three marketing strategies to give your campaigns an effective spin.

The phenomenal cricket season sees millions of fans travelling during tournaments and gathering to root for their favorite teams. But while millions throng at stadiums, millions more tune in on digital platforms. 32 million people watched the last edition of India’s biggest cricket tournament on the official OTT broadcast platform.

However, this vast audience means intense competition. Amid rising media costs, it is important that brands consider affordable yet impactful marketing strategies that go beyond sponsoring games or running ads on air. 

Let us explore how the digital space offers room for this. Read on to discover three powerful marketing strategies to become a top player this cricket season.

1. Keep your eye on the ball: Watch out for category trends

The cricket craze is evident in how fans do not merely watch matches but build get-togethers and experiences around them. Beyond the obvious sports category that sees searches about cricket tournaments spiking, we see heightened interest in other categories. Here is a glimpse of five such trends from the cricket season in 2023, which we can expect to see this season as well:

• Satellite TV garnered a 41% search growth as people geared up for the matches.

• OTT platforms naturally saw a rise, with a popular streaming app getting a mind-blowing 120% boost in searches as the tournament began.

• Fitness equipment clocked a 79% lift in searches, indicating that players inspired people to get fit.

• Food delivery witnessed an incredible 32% increase in searches, serving as a testament to the trend of ordering in on match days.

• Fridges and home furniture saw a 19% and 13% respective spike in searches, a proof of people hosting match night get-togethers.

For marketers, this serves as a great opportunity to tap into high-intent consumers at every stage of the funnel. This is a call to reach them with relevant communication based on their searches with audience data and keywords. HDFC Life, a top insurance brand, did just that, resulting in a 30% reduced cost-per-click (CPC). Furthermore, as people carry their quests across various platforms, it is an invitation for brands to adopt an omni-channel approach to be present wherever their potential customers are looking for them.

2. Adopt a new masterstroke: Leverage smart surfaces

While digital platforms are where fans gather, mobile is the preferred medium used by 82% of viewers during India’s biggest cricket tournament. And even when they watch matches on TV, mobile is the second screen by their side. Fans use mobile to shop for merchandise, check the score, order food on game nights, or share match moments with friends and family.

Taking this to the next level, fans now have a new virtual stadium, the smart lock screen, which gives them cricket updates with a single tap. This smart surface had 30 million highly engaged users per day during India’s biggest cricket tournament last year, which is 227 times higher than the number of in-person attendees at the final match (Glance platform data).

This surface gives marketers a unique advantage. It allows consumers to interact with brand experiences or download an app with a single tap, before they unlock their phones. Leading Indian on-demand convenience platform, Swiggy, leveraged the smart lock screen to drive millions of app installs at a 30% lower cost per new user on food delivery.

3. Keep a check on the score: Observe app trends and strategize for success

Mobile apps witnessed a 13% higher growth in installs during India’s biggest cricket tournament in 2023 as compared to the yearly growth rate! This is a cue for marketers to identify and reach high-intent audiences during the cricket season. And that is not all – app retention rates and session lengths also see a massive surge during the season. If you are running app growth campaigns, you can leverage this by leading new users to install and explore, and existing users to rediscover and re-engage.

Additionally, identifying the right success metrics and paying close attention to the performance of creatives is important. This sounds simple, but it can be a powerful tool – not only during the cricket season but also beyond.

The key to a winning innings: Relevance and seamlessness

From omnichannel marketing and smart surfaces to strategizing based on app trends and measuring the right metrics, we saw some powerful tools that will help make an impact this cricket season. But as marketers, we must remember that the season is a time for fans to connect with their favorite sport. So, only when we use these tools to reach with relevance and ease will we truly win their hearts. The art is balancing your brand’s goals with their experience: and the key to mastering this is a seamless, personalized experience throughout the consumer’s journey.

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