Dream11 IPL 2020, marked the return of cricket after the hiatus since March 2020. Despite the in-stadium attendance and activity restrictions, due to the pandemic, Dream11 IPL 2020 has already broken its viewership records and has seen a 28% increase as compared to IPL 2019 in viewership. This clearly indicates that live sporting events are most followed by fans, and the league has done a great job of keeping its audience hooked to the matches.
Similar fan activity and engagement was witnessed on the fantasy sports app and Title Sponsor of IPL, Dream11. The platform experienced a surge of 44.4% traffic volume as against the final match of IPL 2019 and achieved 5.3 million+ user concurrency.
There are many noteworthy firsts for Dream11 IPL 2020. For the first time, the Title Sponsor of IPL is a sports brand, Dream11. Fan engagement was driven digitally by creating digital fan walls in the stadium and the commentary box. The four large virtual fan walls include pre-recorded videos of cheerleaders on branded walls of sponsors. IPL teams like Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals launched digital initiatives to connect with fans. Mumbai Indians launched ‘MI Live’ and ‘Paltan Play’ and Rajasthan Royals started a community-based programme called ‘Super Royals’.
Vikrant Mudaliar, Chief Marketing Officer, Dream11 said, “IPL is the biggest sports event in India that witnesses extremely high fan fervour, and we are happy to see similar engagement on Dream11. Fantasy sports has increasingly become integral to fan engagement with every IPL. Sports fans are at the centre of everything we do, and we have integrated our users in all Dream11 IPL match activations.”
Talking about Dream11’s Title sponsorship, Brijesh Patel, Chairman, IPL, says, “IPL has always endeavoured to provide a world-class sports event for its fans. With Dream11 coming on board as the Title Sponsor for IPL 2020, we are happy to see a digital sports brand like Dream11 increasing fan engagement through fantasy sport. It’s equally heartening to see how Dream11 has integrated its users in all Dream11 IPL match activations. The match countdown, Dream11 Champion Fans wall and the Virtual guest box have all been brought about to bring the fans to the forefront.”
A recent report by FIFS and Kantar found that 60% of fantasy sports users claim to watch/follow sports more than before because of fantasy sports. Further, a user-based survey conducted by Dream11 on 21st October found that 79% of the users who create their teams on Dream11 watch every match of IPL as they like to closely follow the performance of the players they have chosen in their team. Sports brands and associations have acknowledged that fantasy sports engage sports fans meaningfully on various levels.