Sport

FB as fan engagement medium

S. Ramakrishnan.— File Photo  

Sporting fans never had it so good. They no longer have to seek exclusive content.

“Earlier, the fans used to go for information. Now the material chases them,” said SportsMechanics CEO S. Ramakrishnan to The Hindu recently.

What he meant was using Facebook as a fan engagement medium.

“We integrate tournament home page with Facebook. Then we start sending notifications to FB accounts of those who liked the FB page of the competition.”

He elaborated, “When there is a game, the engine wakes up and pushes notifications to the fans, pulling them to the match, keeping them engaged for longer periods of time. Every match is different, has its own dynamics.”

Ramakrishnan added, “For instance, if there are half a million followers, we will send half a million notifications to their FB accounts, studying momentum swings of a match, having stories on those shifts, fuel banter.

“The idea is to directly communicate with fans on Facebook. It’s about pursuing fans, unearthing new fans and analysing them.”

Much focus is on pre-match build-up, info-graphics and analytical content as well.

The concept was first tried out in the All Stars series, featuring cricket legends, in the United States this November. “Sachin Tendulkar was excited about the whole thing. He interacted with the fans and was very pleased,” said Ramakrishnan.

Paradigm change

Among the features of this endeavour is integrating real-time scoring engine with FB, deriving actionable insight from raw data, “It’s about bringing a paradigm change in our approach to fans,” Ramakrishnan said.

Ramakrishnan said, “We can profile the fans. Classify them as casual, serious or fanatics, find out about their age groups and the impact performances had on them. Unique content, created by predictive engine, can be presented to different sections of fans, all through FB.”

Apart from the All Stars cricket matches, the method was tried out, with success, in the IPTL tennis competition recently. “The quickness with which we got responses surprised many.”

A former video analyst with the Indian cricket team, Ramakrishnan has been innovative with technology.

In 2014, SportsMechanics introduced digital scoring, using tablets, for all scorers in Tamil Nadu Cricket Association matches across age-groups and divisions. “That was path-breaking in several ways,” he said.

Now, Ramakrishnan is excited about using Facebook as a tool to ‘chase’ fans.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 3:39:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/fb-as-fan-engagement-medium/article8028714.ece

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