Showcase

Overview

Star Sports has had a large digital presence, with a sizable following on Facebook and Twitter, but faced a challenge on how to converse with and engage that audience despite owning the exclusive rights to some of the world’s biggest sporting properties.

In early 2015, they brought Sportz Interactive on board as a thought partner in order to engage sports fans on digital and ensure we gave fans a high-quality experience when following their favourite sports online. Everything Star Sports did on social media – right from planning to execution – was our responsibility, and our goal was to revolutionise the brand as a pioneer and leader on social media, engaging and delighting sports fans throughout the year.

Strategy

SI was in the unique position of being a company which was at the forefront of tech innovations, and where each employee was a sports fan(atic). And this is why we looked to tackle the huge challenge before us with two primary tools – passion and technology.

We have executed several big-ticket digital innovations and social media campaigns for Star Sports – the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World T20, Indian Premier League, Indian Super League, Pro Kabaddi, various tennis grand slams, the Olympics, as well as European football leagues , Formula 1, badminton etc, and our outlook has been consistent yet ever-changing.

Strategy

Our consistency lies in the fact that we’ve focused on quality, always looked to stoke the passion that lies within each sports fan to generate support, build players into heroes, and use cutting-edge technology to enhance their digital experience. Yet, because every tournament and every season is a fresh start in many ways, we’ve put on our thinking caps at all times to make sure that we converse with fans of different sports in different ways and give fans a different experience each time.

Strategy

A large chunk of Star Sports' social media following comprised cricket fans, with whom we focused on the use of technology and top-quality content. Football fans needed a more targeted, unique approach, for which we carved out a new digital brand altogether – Star Sports Football – where all our content and campaigns focused on the sport. Kabaddi involved us building not only a league, but a sport altogether – all while speaking to a radically different audience, all the way to the heart of rural India.

A combination of different tonalities, styles, and ideas combined with an always-on focus on quality, passion and technology saw us achieve great things together with India’s largest sports broadcaster.

Creativity & Innovation

Innovation is one of SI's core values, and it was something we brought to the table from day one. Our pilot campaign was the Cricket World Cup in 2015, where tech innovations not seen before in Indian sport, like Star Trumps (collection of digital trump cards on Twitter), Quizster (a multi-category Mastermind-style quiz, automated on Twitter), Digital Tug of War (a combination of social and on-ground engagement), automated Facebook Cover Photos etc., were introduced.

Creativity & Innovation

Maukaticons (customised emojis of the famous "Maukaman"), #OwnTheJersey (first-of-its-kind quiz combining social media and broadcast) and many more creative ideas were also executed with fantastic results during the tournament, which set the tone for our partnership with Star.

Creativity & Innovation

Over the years, we have continued a few of those innovations due to their success, while also coming up with others like #FlauntTheBlue, which saw us generate and push digital India jersey replicas with fans’ names in real-time, an engagement hub for Star’s CT17 “Sabse Bada Moh” campaign, a nationwide engagement platform in Election se Selection for the IPL Auction, the Star Sports Messenger bot (first such chatbot for an Indian broadcaster), Facebook Fantasy (bringing fantasy gaming to your Facebook feed), Facebook LIVE Polls and customised animated videos, among others.

Execution

Star Trumps: To increase player affinity during the Cricket World Cup 2015, we created digital trump cards of over 200 cricketers, which fans could collect on Twitter, all by simply tweeting #StarTrumps. The Star Sports handle would respond to each tweet with a digital card, with fans having to collect different sets and earn badges along the way.

Quizster: Aimed at engaging core cricket fans on social media, Quizster was a unique and comprehensive quiz, all on Twitter itself. Fans could play Quizster by triggering the start of the quiz with #Quizster. The entire quiz would play out in automated fashion, with fans picking categories and answer options by replying with their choice in a tweet. Cricket fans loved testing their mettle and proving themselves to be masterminds of the sport.

Execution

Saina Squad: A hunt to find 10 of a sportsperson’s biggest fans isn’t an easy task, but Saina Squad made it a fun ride all the way through. The entire squad was formed purely through social media, via multiple engaging activities that sought fans who knew Saina and her career well, and were passionate followers of her on the court. The squad was then flown to Dubai for the BWF Finals in 2016, where they met Saina, dined with her, and cheered for her from the stands!

Star Sports Messenger Bot: SI's first Messenger bot was built for Star Sports – the first such chatbot for a major Indian brand. The bot was launched during IPL 2018, and had multiple capabilities and modules. A ‘buddy’ module allowed users to subscribe to match reminders, updates and other engaging content around their favourite team(s). A Quiz module engaged core fans, as they could choose from among different interesting categories and play a quiz with the bot being quizmaster. A TV Guide module was also crucial to Star, as it saw the bot resolve several user queries about match timings, channel details etc.

Execution

Sketch Animated Videos: When India faced Australia in 2017, we wanted to play up and highlight the great rivalry between the two countries. In order to do this, we decided to evoke nostalgia by looking back at some of the rivalry’s great moments, but by giving fans the power to drive our content. We conducted polls on Facebook LIVE, where fans had to vote for their favourite moment from a set of four, via Facebook reactions. Once the poll ended, we churned out a creative sketch video of that moment within 12 hours on our social handles. Giving fans what they want, in new ways!

Insta Launch & Success: We launched Star Sports’ Instagram handle just before the IPL auction in 2018 and have been generating some creative content on the platform ever since. Our Insta Stories during the IPL were a standout performer as well, generating millions of impressions and catching the eye of sports fans as well as brands.

Overview

Star Sports has had a large digital presence, with a sizable following on Facebook and Twitter, but faced a challenge on how to converse with and engage that audience despite owning the exclusive rights to some of the world’s biggest sporting properties.

In early 2015, they brought Sportz Interactive on board as a thought partner in order to engage sports fans on digital and ensure we gave fans a high-quality experience when following their favourite sports online. Everything Star Sports did on social media – right from planning to execution – was our responsibility, and our goal was to revolutionise the brand as a pioneer and leader on social media, engaging and delighting sports fans throughout the year.

Strategy

SI was in the unique position of being a company which was at the forefront of tech innovations, and where each employee was a sports fan(atic). And this is why we looked to tackle the huge challenge before us with two primary tools – passion and technology.

We have executed several big-ticket digital innovations and social media campaigns for Star Sports – the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World T20, Indian Premier League, Indian Super League, Pro Kabaddi, various tennis grand slams, the Olympics, as well as European football leagues , Formula 1, badminton etc, and our outlook has been consistent yet ever-changing.

Strategy

Our consistency lies in the fact that we’ve focused on quality, always looked to stoke the passion that lies within each sports fan to generate support, build players into heroes, and use cutting-edge technology to enhance their digital experience. Yet, because every tournament and every season is a fresh start in many ways, we’ve put on our thinking caps at all times to make sure that we converse with fans of different sports in different ways and give fans a different experience each time.

Strategy

A large chunk of Star Sports' social media following comprised cricket fans, with whom we focused on the use of technology and top-quality content. Football fans needed a more targeted, unique approach, for which we carved out a new digital brand altogether – Star Sports Football – where all our content and campaigns focused on the sport. Kabaddi involved us building not only a league, but a sport altogether – all while speaking to a radically different audience, all the way to the heart of rural India.

A combination of different tonalities, styles, and ideas combined with an always-on focus on quality, passion and technology saw us achieve great things together with India’s largest sports broadcaster.

Creativity & Innovation

Innovation is one of SI's core values, and it was something we brought to the table from day one. Our pilot campaign was the Cricket World Cup in 2015, where tech innovations not seen before in Indian sport, like Star Trumps (collection of digital trump cards on Twitter), Quizster (a multi-category Mastermind-style quiz, automated on Twitter), Digital Tug of War (a combination of social and on-ground engagement), automated Facebook Cover Photos etc., were introduced.

Creativity & Innovation

Maukaticons (customised emojis of the famous "Maukaman"), #OwnTheJersey (first-of-its-kind quiz combining social media and broadcast) and many more creative ideas were also executed with fantastic results during the tournament, which set the tone for our partnership with Star.

Creativity & Innovation

Over the years, we have continued a few of those innovations due to their success, while also coming up with others like #FlauntTheBlue, which saw us generate and push digital India jersey replicas with fans’ names in real-time, an engagement hub for Star’s CT17 “Sabse Bada Moh” campaign, a nationwide engagement platform in Election se Selection for the IPL Auction, the Star Sports Messenger bot (first such chatbot for an Indian broadcaster), Facebook Fantasy (bringing fantasy gaming to your Facebook feed), Facebook LIVE Polls and customised animated videos, among others.

Execution

Star Trumps: To increase player affinity during the Cricket World Cup 2015, we created digital trump cards of over 200 cricketers, which fans could collect on Twitter, all by simply tweeting #StarTrumps. The Star Sports handle would respond to each tweet with a digital card, with fans having to collect different sets and earn badges along the way.

Quizster: Aimed at engaging core cricket fans on social media, Quizster was a unique and comprehensive quiz, all on Twitter itself. Fans could play Quizster by triggering the start of the quiz with #Quizster. The entire quiz would play out in automated fashion, with fans picking categories and answer options by replying with their choice in a tweet. Cricket fans loved testing their mettle and proving themselves to be masterminds of the sport.

Execution

Saina Squad: A hunt to find 10 of a sportsperson’s biggest fans isn’t an easy task, but Saina Squad made it a fun ride all the way through. The entire squad was formed purely through social media, via multiple engaging activities that sought fans who knew Saina and her career well, and were passionate followers of her on the court. The squad was then flown to Dubai for the BWF Finals in 2016, where they met Saina, dined with her, and cheered for her from the stands!

Star Sports Messenger Bot: SI's first Messenger bot was built for Star Sports – the first such chatbot for a major Indian brand. The bot was launched during IPL 2018, and had multiple capabilities and modules. A ‘buddy’ module allowed users to subscribe to match reminders, updates and other engaging content around their favourite team(s). A Quiz module engaged core fans, as they could choose from among different interesting categories and play a quiz with the bot being quizmaster. A TV Guide module was also crucial to Star, as it saw the bot resolve several user queries about match timings, channel details etc.

Execution

Sketch Animated Videos: When India faced Australia in 2017, we wanted to play up and highlight the great rivalry between the two countries. In order to do this, we decided to evoke nostalgia by looking back at some of the rivalry’s great moments, but by giving fans the power to drive our content. We conducted polls on Facebook LIVE, where fans had to vote for their favourite moment from a set of four, via Facebook reactions. Once the poll ended, we churned out a creative sketch video of that moment within 12 hours on our social handles. Giving fans what they want, in new ways!

Insta Launch & Success: We launched Star Sports’ Instagram handle just before the IPL auction in 2018 and have been generating some creative content on the platform ever since. Our Insta Stories during the IPL were a standout performer as well, generating millions of impressions and catching the eye of sports fans as well as brands.