Cricket chiefs eye social media to boost reach

The International Cricket Council (ICC) is partnering with sponsors including Pepsi and Castrol to launch campaigns in Europe, North and South America as it looks to increase the popularity of the sport outside its heartlands.

The global cricket governing body to launch co-branded Twitter campaigns with sponsors in a bid to boos the global appeal of cricket.

Co-branded campaigns will launch from the ICC”s profile page on the micro-blogging site throughout the year.

The move aims to engage fans in markets such as South America, North America and mainland Europe where cricket is generating interest from the growing number of expats.

It is hoped the strategy will build on the ICC’s social media campaign around the World Twenty20 championships currently taking place in Sri Lanka.

The ICC partnered with Twitter, which aims to use the venture to expand the social network’s reach in South Asia, to create an event page for the tournament. The page will serve as the focal point for the organisation’s digital marketing and will be repurposed for different events such as the Test cricket matches and its Hall of Fame programme each year.

Jon Long, head of executive programmes at the ICC, says the brand activations will take cricket to the “next level.”

He adds: “We recognise now that when people are watching the cricket, like with a growing number of other sports, they are using some sort of second-screen to enhance their experience. We’re factoring this in to both how we structure the media around the events and also the brand partnerships we have to make cricket more accessible to new fans and engaging for the older ones too.”

Cricket chiefs will also use Facebook to make viewers feel more involved in the events. During the World Twenty20 matches earlier this month it allowed fans on the social network to vote for the pictures that will be put up in teams’ dressing rooms and Long says it will look to do more activity like this separately from its Twitter activations.

Additionally, the ICC is looking at how it can monetise its recently launched free mobile app including charging users for exclusive content.

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