The electrifying final encounter of WPL 2024 went down to the wire and Richa Ghosh lifted not only the winning stroke over cover, but also the spirits of millions of Royal Challengers Bangalore fans who were able to celebrate their first silverware. The second season was one of many firsts, with Deepti Sharma becoming the first player to take a hat-trick and score a fifty in the same match, Shabnim Ismail becoming the first ever female bowler to breach the 130 kmph mark and Meg Lanning becoming the first to score 500+ runs in an edition. With players turning up a notch over the field, the cricket crazy fans naturally did move into top gear with regard to their digital engagement.


Over the past few years, we’ve seen a markedly significant trend of sports fans in India going mobile-first in their consumption with over 85% pageviews even on Websites being driven via the small screen as against the laptop. Sportz Interactive has had the opportunity of partnering with the BCCI to reimagine the digital fan experience on mobile with the dedicated WPL App - first launched in Feb 2023 before the inaugural season. Here’s what we’ve seen over the past few weeks in the form of 3 salient trends that truly excite us about the future of the league.


Imagining the scale of WPL 2024



1) For a 20-day long tournament, one of the most critical metrics to track is the ongoing trend of the Weekly Active Users (WAUs) through the season. The 2024 season saw the WAUs grow to 2.7x of the in-season benchmark of last year, indicating a staggering rise in fan interest in general.

2) The Total Screenviews on the App also followed a similar trajectory amounting to 2.8x of the in-season benchmark last year.

3) The engagement of fans has been generally seen to peak towards the start and the end of any season, owing to the excitement of the first matches for respective teams as well as the final knockout stages. Interestingly while in the first season the maximum count of Daily Active Users (DAUs) occurred on the inaugural game, the same was recorded on the day of the final this season with an astounding scale of 2.6x of last year.


Understanding the nuance of App Engagement



While the WAUs or DAUs as mentioned above help us understand the breadth of our fan universe, it is also equally critical to keep track of the depth of their Engagement - i.e. while we might know the answer to ‘how many fans arrived’, the success of the App is also evaluated by ‘how long they engaged’ online. The average Daily Time Spent (DTS) per fan is measured for each day & we looked at the ongoing trend over the duration of both of the seasons. 

1) The Median of the DTS was found to slightly drop to 0.8x of last year, which is expected given the rapid growth of the active user base for the App which naturally brings with itself some proportion of lesser engaged fans over time. 

2) The interesting observation was that the Max of the DTS (on the day of the Final) was found to be 1.5x of last year, indicating that fans do engage with second screen activations such as interactive Matchcentres or Gamifications especially while watching crucial encounters on TV.


Dissecting the Engagement further



While we were able to find answers to ‘how many fans arrived’ and ‘how long they engaged’ online, the curiosity in our sporty minds nudged us to also ask ‘what did they consume’ on the App with the most interest. The current WPL App experience offers the fans a myriad of functions and screens to engage with, catering to a wide range of needs - be it watching BTS or HL videos, to checking Standings and Fixtures, to playing themed Games. In order to explore the Indian cricket fan further, we compared the Daily Time Spent by fans across these various alternatives.

1) Unsurprisingly the highest average was for the Videos section with fans consuming full length content while staying on the App. It is thus a great opportunity for sports organizations to leverage this fan preference optimally with the curation of exclusive content over Owned Digital Assets.

2) Gamification appeared to be a formidable second option with the average DTS being 50% of the Videos section. With the rise of Fantasy sports in general, the size of the target audience for sports adjacent games is certainly on the rise and this also offers the unique opportunity to also engage the slightly casual segment of fans in our App universe.

3) Speaking of more dedicated cricket fans, the sections for Fixtures and Statistics also proved to be great modalities for engagement. As is the case with Gamification, these sections offer sports organizations a tremendous collaborative opportunity to partner for a co-branded fan experience.

We’re incredibly excited about what the future beholds, not just for the WPL but also for other emerging leagues in the Indian sports ecosystem. Our diverse suite of digital engagement solutions makes us an ideal partner for anyone aiming to unlock the next 500M sports fans globally, helping sports organizations unlock big opportunities through the small screen.


- contributed by Aaditya Ranade (Manager, CEO's Office)