Carat India - the media agency from the house of dentsu India, and ESPNcricinfo - the world’s leading digital cricket destination, have released their latest report on the evolution of cricket in India and the changes witnessed in the increased level of appreciation for the game. Titled ‘Cricket Content Consumption and Fandom in India’, the report has been created in collaboration with Recogn - dentsu India's research division.
The report reveals the lenses through which cricket fans and followers perceive the game and highlights their corresponding consumption behavior. It is broadly encapsulated by five key segments: cricket fans' mindset, their love for the sport, consumption patterns, brand response, and collaborative efforts with the sport.
For the record, ESPNcricinfo has established itself as the go-to platform for young and passionate cricket fans, thanks to its strong reputation for credibility, trustworthiness, and ease of use. The brand is a cricket guru or guide that is trusted by the most passionate fans. It is preferred owing to its strong credibility, the content's authenticity and comprehensive coverage, and the strong archives of cricket history it holds. Fans choose to read the expert articles on the platform for their foresightedness and predictions, along with the deep knowledge, interesting insights, and unique points of view they provide.
As per the report, the love for cricket has evolved to an extent that its consumption revolves around the four essential parameters of passion, entertainment, engagement, and attitude toward the game. One’s passion for cricket is mainly driven by skillsets, knowledge, a sense of belonging, and socializing. In today’s Web3 era, the second screens have seamlessly emerged to be the first choice, enabling the always-on mode for fans. The digital cricket content platforms treat their fans with much-preferred features like live ball-by-ball commentary, short videos, expert articles, etc. Also, Hindi being the most preferred vernacular language across platforms gets cricket fans to regularly keep checking these platforms and apps.
The report further highlights that cricket fandom in India is classified into three broad categories: recreational fandom (fans for whom cricket watching is a sport in itself), career-driven fandom (fans who are pursuing their passion for cricket as a viable career option), and managerial fandom (fans who possess in-depth knowledge of cricket and the business around it). Most fans have multi-devices with a multi-source consumption behavior pattern for live cricket matches. They follow a live match mainly on digital cricket platforms, apart from watching the game live on the TV broadcast with their families and loved ones. Additionally, during non-match days, more than three-quarters of cricket fans spend up to 2 hours daily consuming cricket content on digital platforms.
Commenting on the report launch, Anita Kotwani, CEO, of Carat India said, “ESPNcricinfo is at a vantage point in the ecosystem. As the most favored platform for cricket-affiliated content, it enjoys an average of 2 hours being spent daily by users. Together, cricket and ESPNcricinfo are a branding goldmine. They go hand in hand if the right targeting, right exposure, and the right messaging are the objectives. Our collaborative effort is to arm the industry decision-makers with a deep understanding of the nuances of the consumption of sports across demographic, platforms, and formats.”
Akshaya Kolhe, Director Revenue - India & South Asia, ESPNcricinfo added, “Team ESPNcricinfo is excited to partner with Carat India on this industry-first report, as it attempts to unravel the multiple layers of cricket fandom that drives India. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the various brand partners and corporates for their continued association with our platform over the last decade. These brand partnerships have been a great source of learning. It has served as a fountainhead for formulating brand-led marketing through cricket fandom, and also makes for interesting content in the report.”
For the record, Recogn – dentsu India’s research division, provides consumer and business insights to its audience. It offers end-to-end research services like customized primary research into the domains of marketing strategy, brand strategy, and product and communication strategies, among others.
ESPNcricinfo is a pioneer in digital sports media and the world’s leading digital destination on cricket, serving fans authentic, unbiased cricket news, views, analysis, statistics, and scores for the last 30 years. India is the global headquarter of ESPNcricinfo with operations in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, and various subcontinent countries. With offices in Bangalore, Mumbai & Gurgaon, the Indian operations boast a world-class team of writers, journalists, content creators, engineers, and more.