Carat India, the media agency from the house of dentsu India, and ESPNcricinfo - the digital cricket destination - have released their latest report on the evolution of cricket in India and the changes witnessed in the increased level of appreciation for the game.
Titled ‘Cricket Content Consumption and Fandom in India’, the report has been created in collaboration with Recogn - dentsu India's research division.
The report reveals the lenses through which cricket fans and followers perceive the game and highlights their corresponding consumption behavior. It is broadly encapsulated by five key segments: cricket fans' mindset, their love for the sport, consumption patterns, brand response, and collaborative efforts with the sport.
As per the report, the love for cricket has evolved to an extent that its consumption revolves around the four essential parameters of passion, entertainment, engagement, and attitude toward the game.
One’s passion for cricket is mainly driven by skillsets, knowledge, a sense of belonging, and socializing. In today’s Web3 era, the second screens have emerged to be the first choice, enabling the always-on mode for fans, as per the report.
It went on to add that the digital cricket content platforms treat their fans with much-preferred features like live ball-by-ball commentary, short videos, expert articles, etc. Also, Hindi being the most preferred vernacular language across platforms gets cricket fans to regularly keep checking these platforms and apps.
The report further highlights that cricket fandom in India is classified into three broad categories: recreational fandom (fans for whom cricket watching is a sport in itself), career-driven fandom (fans who are pursuing their passion for cricket as a viable career option), and managerial fandom (fans who possess in-depth knowledge of cricket and the business around it).
Most fans have multi-devices with a multi-source consumption behaviour pattern for live cricket matches. They follow a live match mainly on digital cricket platforms, apart from watching the game live on the TV broadcast with their families and loved ones.
Additionally, during non-match days, more than three-quarters of cricket fans spend up to two hours daily consuming cricket content on digital platforms.
Anita Kotwani, CEO of Carat India, said, “ESPNcricinfo is at a vantage point in the ecosystem. As the most favoured platform for cricket-affiliated content, it enjoys an average of two hours being spent daily by users. Together, cricket and ESPNcricinfo are a branding goldmine. They go hand in hand if the right targeting, right exposure, and the right messaging are the objectives. Our collaborative effort is to arm the industry decision-makers with a deep understanding of the nuances of the consumption of sports across demographic, platforms, and formats.”
Akshaya Kolhe, Director Revenue - India and South Asia, ESPNcricinfo, added, “Team ESPNcricinfo is excited to partner with Carat India on this industry-first report, as it attempts to unravel the multiple layers of cricket fandom that drives India. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the various brand partners and corporates for their continued association with our platform over the last decade. These brand partnerships have been a great source of learning. It has served as a fountainhead for formulating brand-led marketing through cricket fandom, and also makes for interesting content in the report.”