The just concluded ICC Cricket World Cup’15 has been termed a huge success and one of the most followed cricket events in the history of the game. The tournament shattered all the records in terms of TV viewership & advertising. Besides TV, which still remains the main medium for following the game, all the CWC’15 matches were closely followed on smartphones as well.
The buzz for CWC’15 was created even before the event started [thanks to the India vs. Pakistan match] and peaked as the tournament reached the knockout stage. The engagement figures for sports apps during the semi finals turned out to be 1.5x times higher than the quarter finals.
Not only the India matches but even for non India matches, the numbers were quite encouraging. What comes as a surprise is the fact that majority of the India matches were played during holidays and yet the time spent on sports apps was one of the highest during those days.
The above insights clearly indicate that with growing smartphone penetration and superior mobile connectivity, sports apps are effectively used by users to keep themselves updated with the match happenings. Though TV still remains the main medium and will continue to break the viewership records, marketers can’t afford to miss the fact that ‘sports apps’ are gaining its foothold when it comes to the marquee cricket events.
With IPL 8 just a few days away, the big question that arises is what impact will the success of CWC’15 have on the biggest cricketing festival of India – IPL? Looking at the increase seen in the penetration of sports apps during the last 4 editions of IPL and considering the rapid growth in the traction on sports apps, we expect the usage of sports apps to further go up once IPL 8 begins. The chart below clearly sums up the rise seen in the Reach for sports apps during the past 5 major cricketing events.
The industry estimates suggest that IPL 8 has already beaten CWC’15 on television ad rates and we expect that the sports app traffic on smartphones is not going to be lower than any of the previous IPL or CWC’15. Though the IPL matches are played during our prime time, we have seen that users still access sports apps during the match. The reach of these apps could therefore exceed 30% this IPL, which can be considered as a respectable number. The marketers definitely can’t afford to ignore this and will have to keep aside a share of their marketing spends for mobile!