IPL is an instrumental supply creator: Vikrant Mudaliar, Dream11 CMO

In a panel discussion during La Liga’s Extra Time Webinar, Vikrant Mudaliar, CMO, Dream11 (Dream Sports) spilled the beans on user retention, engagement, and Dream11’s relationship with the Indian Premier League

Niveditha Kalyanaraman
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Vikrant Mudaliar

Vikrant Mudaliar

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Delhi: With the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 in full swing, there is one brand whose name is almost synonymous with the league itself, the fantasy sports app, Dream11. 

Recent research by Kadence International and Crisp revealed that Dream11 led with 33% brand visibility during IPL 2024. 

Being the co-presenting sponsor of JioCinema for the league and the main sponsor for the Punjab Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Gujarat Titans, the fantasy gaming platform has left no stone unturned to make its brand presence known in the league. 

Apart from investing across the spectrum in sponsorships, OOH, TV ads, content creators, and more, the brand has shelled out big bucks for its latest IPL ad that brought under one roof celebrities from various fields. Last year, it was Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, and Sharman Joshi, and this year the list grew. 

The advertisement from the fantasy sports platform featured an array of celebrity cameos, elevating its star power. Departing from last year's actors vs. cricketers theme, Dream11 has introduced teams facing off against each other, friends competing, and even brothers in the spotlight in its latest commercial. 

Reflecting on this, in a panel discussion during La Liga’s Extra Time Webinar, Vikrant Mudaliar, CMO, Dream11 (Dream Sports), confided that IPL as a league was an instrumental supply creator.

“There are back-to-back 74 matches for two months,” he added, “that help in retention, engagement, and repeat usage of the app.”

Talking about user retention and user engagement, he referred to them as the two cornerstones brands need to focus on. 

Mudaliar further remarked that the brand’s focus on customer retention and acquisition depends on the life stage the brand’s product is currently going through. 

He used the example of Dream11 to illustrate his point, stating, "In the case of Dream11, we now have over 200 million users. Five years ago, our focus was more on user acquisition than retention. Now, our priority is ensuring that these 200 million users continue to engage at a high level while we work on acquiring another 100 million."

He emphasised how retention levels can be controlled with engagement with different audience cohorts across conversion platforms. 

Being a fantasy sports platform, Dream11 counts on user engagement to maintain user interest and traction. This, Mudaliar believes, depends on external factors like the sport itself, including the NBA, Olympics or the IPL. 

Backing up Dream11’s initiative to partner with sporting leagues, Mudaliar remarked, “You need to ensure the sport itself is engaging for your users to be excited by the fantasy sports paradigm.”

Talking about higher concurrency for a fantasy gaming app, he confessed that concurrency is not the rosy garden people often mistake it to be. 

“Higher concurrency is not a good thing for us, for anybody. It's the daily active users or monthly active users that we focus on. We want them, ideally, spread throughout the day at different time bands,” he added. 

He also shared how the high concurrency of fantasy sports, cricket in particular, is linked to the way the sport functions. 

“In the case of cricket, let's say 7 pm is when the team lineups are announced, this is the high concurrency window, something that goes on till 7.30 pm. It is a 30-minute window of high concurrency that tends to happen,” he shared. 

From a server point of view, this 30-minute window is when the brand is planning and optimising its bandwidth. He also shared how their payment outlets, including UPI, have grown better over the years, facilitating a smoother user experience.