Looking back @2016: The year in marketing campaigns for Star Sports

2016 has been a very memorable year for Star Sports. India’s sporting glory during the year was beamed to millions of houses from the Star Sports networks, from PV Sindhu’s Olympic Silver to India’s successful home season of cricket to the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. A year that has capped off with individual and team glory, something that the marketing campaigns around these sports have been built on. 

Along with the campaigns, Star Sports also witnessed a positive increase in engagement on its social platforms. On Twitter alone, @starsportsindia effectively doubled its count to 2 million followers in a span of a year, while @ProKabaddi saw a 3x growth too. It not only marked a historic year for sports in the digital age, but also saw Star Sports grow at an unprecedented pace on Twitter. YouTube has also seen engagement go up, comprising videos across different sports to make sure the audiences are engaged across platforms. 

For a country that is obsessed with Bollywood and films, a very surprising insight this year was that of the top 10 trending hashtags on Twitter, six were about sports. 

Some of the notable campaigns that span across the various sports include: 

Star Sports Rio Olympics 2016
#IssebadaKuchNahi (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPeDXKwHJcs)

To drive viewer engagement, #IssebadaKuchNahi was conceptualised to target a pan-India audience and to communicate the pride and honour involved in competing and winning a medal at the Olympics. The biggest sporting spectacle of 2016 was held in Rio, and @StarSportsIndia was at the forefront when it came to driving conversations on social media. Fans found new heroes like Dipa Karmakar, Aditi Ashok, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and many others, as Star Sports brought their stories to fans via videos, images and other content.  There was continuous engagement with fans throughout the tournament, and conversations peaked when India clinched two medals at Rio. The 360-degree #BillionCheers campaign before, during, and after the Olympics saw #Rio2016 being the top trending hashtag in India in 2016. 

ICC T20 World Cup
#Tayarikarlo (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNE0Uc1EYzk) and (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl1y3SpMkXA)

#maukamauka campaign extension (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLkfLEPRjr4&list=PLh2RfdbfOcdtsLqn1KlOojeSic3z9QcRe&index=12)

Being held for the first time in India, @StarSportsIndia began creating buzz early in the year through creative TVCs, and went in to the tournament with a robust digital strategy. Live social coverage of every game with creative content around it on a daily basis helped drive thousands of conversations around #WT20. Video content featuring the star-studded commentary panel caught the attention of fans, while new heroes from each team were created as a result of a detailed content strategy. @StarSportsIndia became the go-to destination for fans on social media, for all content around the tournament. The campaign was handled in an entirely different manner which was then supplemented by #maukamauka to continue to capture the imagination of the nation. With a 360-degree campaign rollout, fans were continuously engaged via Twitter in real time to get them to experience the game and be involved. Video snippets and memes capturing Maukaman’s reactions were also pushed in real-time during the match and after it – which contributed to #IndvsPak overtaking the tournament’s official hashtag. 

Star Sports Pro Kabaddi League
#AsliPanga (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pxWvtU36XI

The campaign communication for season 4 of Star Sports Pro Kabaddi sported the tagline ‘Don’t Watch Fake, Asli Panga Dekh’ and was focused on showcasing the intense and relentless action that the sport provides. In a tongue-in-cheek manner, the attributes of kabaddi have been juxtaposed against narratives from other competitive viewing genres, culminating in a call to action for kabaddi – “Don’t watch fake, Asli panga Dekh.” With a dash of melodrama and humorous twist, the campaign was created with to deliver an innovative approach. 

Women’s Kabaddi 2016
#Crosstheline (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BM7dpIY3Zcc)

For the first time, there were going to games played by women kabaddi teams at ProKabaddi Season 4. The campaign was a manifestation of the journey that women have undertaken in all walks of life. The idea was to show how women regularly challenge gender stereotypes in the society and now they cross the line in kabaddi as well. 

India Vs England Test Series 2016
#SCORETOSETTLE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDVfteTcnPs)

The rivalry between India and England has been one of the fiercest in world cricket, with memorable series between them. Over the years, India-England tours have been especially epic: both teams have overcome the other’s home advantage. England have won the last three series between the teams and thus the campaign and tour was a #ScoreToSettle. 

India Vs New Zealand Test Series 2016
#HARSESSIONMEIACTION (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9KSiqUOqrM)

A series of advertisements were created as part of the campaign to drive home the message that with two very strong teams in India and New Zealand, every session will be action packed and that was how the series played out. With engagement points throughout the series, it helped keep the fans hooked on and drive engagement across platforms.


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