Through its partnership with sports
engagement platform Rooter, Indian Premier League (IPL) team Gujarat
Lions has created a digital platform for fans to interact with each other and the team.
Lions’ fans, while using the Rooter app, will get access to customised homepages, chat forums, and profile pages. In preparation for this innovation, Rooter’s homepage underwent a revamp making alterations and improvements in user interface.
“In the simplest of terms, we have created a Gujarat
Lions zone within the Rooter app; almost similar to a sub-app, completely customised for the Lions fan with match updates and discussion forums,” says Piyush Kumar, chief executive and founder, Rooter.
While there are many social media platforms for fans to engage with the content and each other, Rooter provides a different take on the engagement by ‘gamifying’ the platform. The fans can indulge in the prediction game. Each T-20 match is divided into four windows of 10 overs each and players have to make a prediction before the start of each windows. Accurate predictions earn players points, which reflect on the leaderboard.
Kumar clarifies that the prediction game is not in any way associated with gambling since no physical money is involved. The leaderboard toppers are rewarded in the form of Rooter coins, which can be used for various activities on the app. “We also have tie-ups with Amazon and Paytm where toppers on the leaderboard get digital vouchers to spend on/via these platrorms,” he adds. The prediction game is an attempt to get fans to interact during the live match.
It has been on the app since six months now, and has seen traction for niche games like basketball (NBA) too.
Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex Technologies and Owner, Gujarat
Lions adds, “When we bought the team, we were clear that it is a marketing exercise to build and popularise brand Intex. This is one way to do it we feel. The challenge, however, will be to capitalise on the fan-base we have created in these two years, since right now, it looks like this is the last year for the Gujarat
Lions team was introduced last year along with Rising Pune Supergiant after Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals faced a two year ban on charges of match fixing and betting. The team has been able to get around 15 sponsors on board thanks to its performance in the 2016 Vivo Indian Premier League, but Bansal concedes that breaking even, let along profitability, was never on the cards.