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Fantasy games scored big during the Indian T20 league 2020

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From being just a mere second screen to becoming an addiction in modern times, consumers' way of using fantasy platforms have evolved and come a long way. 

Creative and interactive ad campaigns during the Indian T20 league have made sure that fantasy companies are on most people’s smartphones and an ice-breaker in their friend circles. 

Games24*7 said in a statement that they increased their advertising budget by an enormous 2000 per cent. Gamezy cleverly portrayed their uniqueness by bringing in KL Rahul as their brand ambassador while Dream11 can attribute their increase in numbers being the title sponsor of the Indian T20 league in the season gone by.

Fans were waiting for cricket to be back during the pandemic and the Indian T20 league was probably the biggest premier they could have got on their television sets. It is no secret sauce that the T20 league is a massive stage for brands to create a lasting impression on various consumer patterns. 

With the tournament reaching every nook and corner of the country, fantasy brands were quick to onboard the moving train. Seeking a temporary title sponsor, Dream11 went all in and benefited largely on that decision.

As per industry reports, the app has grown 5x times in terms of daily downloads since the league, a testament to the impact and reach of the tournament’s broadcast. 

Dream11 experienced a surge of 44.4% traffic volume as against the final match of 2019 Indian T20 league, it said in a press statement. It managed 60 million requests per minute and witnessed above 8,000 contest joins per second. There were more than 18 million contest joins in a single match, above 20,000 team updates per second and around 7.9 million entries in a single contest, the brand’s statement added. 

Dream11 also witnessed 10x growth in web and mobile traffic and 50% growth in transactions on the back of its favourable position as title sponsor, and today commands a 90% share of the fantasy gaming market. Their series of ads picturing a sense of gully cricket with popular Indian cricketers and commonly used phrases and taglines became viral on social media.

“We believe that ‘Dream11’ perfectly defines what the Indian T20 league is all about, every team fielding its Dream11 team culminating in the Indian T20 league final determining the Dream11. We look forward to 10 crore+ Indians making their Dream11 for every league match,” said Harsh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder, Dream Sports. 

Other fantasy brands were not left out seeing Dream11 do well and cashed in to their fullest on multiple broadcast feeds. A notable example, My11Circle, increased their spends by a whopping 2000% in 2020 as compared to 2019 roping in former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly as their face.

“Cricket by far remains the highest participating sports format in the fantasy sports segment in India. To reach out to the relevant cricket-loving audience in the country, the Indian T20 league comes out as the strongest event simply because of the viewership and interest it generates over 60 days. We believe that the league can help generate meaningful ROI with creative and effective marketing strategies that cater to the brand's long-term objectives,” Avik Das Kanungo, Director – Brand and Marketing Strategy, Games24x7 quoted.

The brand’s timing during the tournament saw huge success, achieving 5x growth in web and mobile traffic and a 7x increase in users during the league. My11Circle currently boasts of a five million-plus user base, showcasing once more that nothing comes close to the traction that the Indian T20 league broadcast provides.

New fantasy games like Fanfight and Gamezy were not lost among more advertised brands such as Dream11 and My11circle. Despite the pressure of other 4-5 brands, multiple reasons ensured that each brand got their recognition. With TV breaks being of lesser duration, very rarely did two same brands overlap. Also, with the games being tight enough people were also glued to the boxes during the commercial breaks.

With a clear vision and a defined target of 10 million users, FanFight leveraged its association with the broadcasters in 2020 to reach consumers across markets. It also introduced an innovative idea of daily Indian T20 League quizzes that enabled cricket fans to earn more money. 

The company has been growing year-on-year by four to six times with every Indian T20 League season, and its user base surpassed its projection on the back of the 2020 season, making it an absolute hit. As per industry reports and public company statements, FanFight saw a 5x increase in the number of daily downloads, a 4x growth and a 5x increase in its user base compared to the pre-tournament months. 

Another brand that generated downloads was Gamezy, from the house of Gameskraft. Gamezy rolled out their campaign with a creative #NayeZamaneKaFantasyCricket during the festive period. With KL Rahul doing well on the field it caught a few more eyeballs. It brought out why it’s different from other apps vividly.

Prithvi Singh, co-founder, Gameskraft, said, “Gamezy is a unique offering for online gamers and comes at a perfect time with rising demand for fantasy sports amidst the Indian T20 league season. The aim is to make fantasy gaming even more experiential for the users and break through the traditional fantasy gaming experience with a focus on rewards.”

The Gamezy campaign witnessed a massive 9x increase in users as compared to pre-tournament months, with a 5x increase in daily downloads and a 4x growth in website traffic.

Industry experts estimate that fantasy gaming apps spent close to Rs 300 crore by way of media spends during Indian T20 league 2020, and these apps saw huge returns by way of reach and growth. Given that the tournament hit record viewership in its last season due to games being played behind closed doors, with 400 billion viewing minutes on TV, and considering the positive consumer sentiment, the next season of the league looks set to make new brands and break more records.

Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ Alexander Joe

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