IPL 2019: RCB partners Israeli sports tech firm to enhance fan engagement

IPL 2019,RCB,Royal Challengers Bangalore,Virat Kohli,RCB partners

Royal Challengers Bangalore fans will now have opportunity to engage with the team via a mobile app created by an Israel-based sports technology firm. The United Spritis-promoted team has tied up with Israel-based Interacting Technology Sports to place the fans at centre stage and unite them on an innovative digital community platform.

The initiative includes an RCB mobile application to allow fan groups and communities across the country support the team throughout the year. The digital fan engagement  platform is powered by Interacting Technology Sports, that has expertise about how communities interact within the digital community.

“I met RCB months back and we discussed a lot about their values, what they wanted to promote and how they wanted to (engage) with fans as a brand and I felt it is a nice project,” business daily Business Standard has quoted Interacting Technology Sports Chief Executive Liav Eliash as saying, who also revealed that cricket is a popular sport in Israel, the tiny Gulf nation.

The app was launched by skipper Virat Kohli, along with coaches Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra.

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Interacting Technology Sports is also offering technologies like data analytics and machine learning to help RCB understand the rival teams better and get a competitive edge, says Eliash.

RCB’s new digital platform will also fans to interact among themselves as a community. Fans will be able to discover new content, interact with the players and influencers. They would also be able to participate in one-on-one and group chats, get access to exclusive content like behind the scene, training, a day in a life of the players and lifestyle. The fans can follow ball by ball commentary, see a live scorecard and league standings.

Within the e-commerce engine, they will be able to purchase tickets and merchandise, receive updates and notification on special offers on a single platform. Royal Challengers Bangalore chairman Sanjeev Churiwala said that there are over 400 million smartphone users in the country and the people especially the millennials watch sports on their phones. “The sport is moving to the palm…we would like millions of RCB fans to be able to feel connected to the team,” said Churiwala, who aims to achieve this through the RCB app.

The brand value of IPL increased 19% to reach $6.3 billion in 2018 from $5.3 billion in 2017, supported by the broadcasting rights fee surging at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.9%, according to a study by New York-based consultancy firm Duff & Phelps, reports Business Standard.

However, RCB has never won the IPL trophy despite reaching the finals three times since the start of the first season 10 years ago.

The team has reached the final thrice but Kohli could never get his hand on that coveted trophy. “We never felt that there was lack of enthusiasm for starting a season,” said Kohli. “And that’s something that stands out to me the most and that can only happen when you have such a strong fan base.”

Kohli said what is important for any team is laying down the culture about striving for excellence and being committed to what they want to achieve. “That takes commitment on a daily basis. And that is something I am looking forward to seeing,” said Kohli.

Former South African cricketer and RCB coach Gary Kirsten said that the coaching staff is helping the players to realise their individual potential. “We are making sure that we help the team to be the best version of themselves… and making sure the team is best prepared as it can be,” said Kirsten.

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