As part of their Indian Premier League (IPL) coverage, ESPNcricinfo has created a wide and expansive repository of organic and brand-led content that includes many different views, perspectives and formats that appeal to the “fan of 2022”.
Leading this charge is ESPNcricinfo T20 Timeout – the engaging flagship pre-, mid- and post-match analysis live show that provides comprehensive insights, data-backed analysis, and robust opinions, where fans engage in active banter just as some of the best minds of the game give their honest opinion on the game. A panel that boasts of ex-India Head Coach Ravi Shastri, young, most-followed new-age cricketers like Sam Curran, Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Lynn, IPL veterans like Piyush Chawla, Imran Tahir and Daniel Vettori – it engages with fans for a personal high.
Ace commentator and ex-India head coach Ravi Shastri said, “This IPL so far has started off full of vitality and in constant anticipation. I’m looking forward to voicing my thoughts and opinions from ESPNcricinfo’s analyst and expert seat as each team and player cook trails of interesting performances for our observation.”
Current English cricketer Sam Curran, who has made his debut on the digital platform seconded this, he said, “This season of IPL has begun with numerous close calls with matches that are being won by just a few runs, bringing the audience constantly on the edge of their seats. That’s the beauty of the game and what every fan awaits - the moments that has everyone in awe.”
Indian automobile brand Maruti Suzuki has continued its association with ESPNcricinfo as the presenting brand on T20 Timeout, with the dynamic objective to offer unique experiences and engage with cricket fans across the country, throughout the day as they consume match-related content and stories. The association with ESPNcricinfo T20 Timeout is a way to resonate with potential and current customers as they seamlessly integrate the Maruti Suzuki brand communication and help drive brand love.
Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director – Sales and Marketing, Maruti Suzuki, said, “We are thrilled to continue our long-term partnership with ESPNcricinfo and offering uninterrupted access to our Flagship Live show T20 Time-out. The insightful discussions and analysis of the various games and players, as well as exciting on-field and off-field moments has brought the show close to the hearts of many fans. AskCricinfo has been a perfect one-stop platform for all cricket related knowledge accessible in the most convenient and user-friendly way. As the new season of IPL kickstarts, we look forward for the fans to make the most of AskCricinfo and T20 Time-out for a more engaging cricket experience.”
New-age smartphone brand iQOO has also collaborated for a series of content-driven associations, powered by sponsorship on T20 Timeout and other exciting video initiatives.
Fan engagement remains at the communicative core of this young brand, as is evident from initiatives like the iQOO ESPNcricinfo Biggest Fan Challenge –which given an opportunity for fans to become an active part of the coverage and interact with leading experts from the ESPNcricinfo panel.
iQOO India CEO Nipun Marya added, “Through this distinctive partnership with ESPNcricinfo, we are reaching out to millions of Gen Z and millennial cricket fans who love performance centric and youthful content, similar to what iQOO offers to its consumers. Our collaborative programming goes beyond the usual and also presents the spontaneous, lighter side of cricket that Gen Z fans look forward to.”
Another case in point is the Swiggy Instamart ‘Fast Funde’ series of reels presented by hosts such as Aparshakti Khurana, Cyrus Broacha and Jatin Sapru that pick interesting factoids and present them in a manner that young cricket fans would love to actively consume and interact with.
Another enthralling step in this fan-led evolution is the bespoke, modern content series titled “Maruti Suzuki presents ASKcricinfo Top 5”. This data-driven weekly proposition is truly a step in the right direction, as it leverages ESPNcricinfo’s NLP-based unique search tool – ASKcricinfo – to churn out interesting user searches through the week, which are then discussed in a crisp, contemporary video conversation with experts.
Similarly, the ESPNcricinfo CriciQOO Social Edition is a one-of-a-kind immersive experience for fans to test their cricket quotient through a custom Chatbot-led activity panning out across the duration of the IPL.
Continued exposure for brands is driven by topical shows such as iQOO Z6 Pro 5G Fully Loaded Performer, Nippon Paint Star Performer, Center Fresh Mints Clean Breath Confident Player, and Simplilearn Job Guarantee Expert Tips, among others.
ESPNcricinfo has garnered several new sponsorships from some of the leading brands including Simplilearn, Toyota, One Plus, Apple, Swiggy Instamart, Nippon Paint, Watcho, Dominos, Sensodyne, Center Fresh, Kerala Tourism, Airtel, Fujitsu, and WonderWins.
ESPNcricinfo’s South Asia Sales Head, Akshaya Kolhe, said, “ESPNcricinfo’s commitment to go beyond the usual coverage is a testimony to our motto of serving our fans anywhere, anytime. We are observing a striking surge in demand for new-age, crisper and smarter video content that is constantly consumed and shared by fans, and with that in mind, we are creating more opportunities to develop such content for brands that think alike, and that excites our fans, making them want more.”