Essel Group's Indian Cricket League (ICL) is using virtual games and contests to engage consumers. It has tied up with Games2Win.com, an online gaming portal, which launched a special gaming section called ICL Zone on its website in the first week of October.
The zone has five cricket related games. Three of them, Cricket Championship 2008, Super Sixers and BodyLine Cricket, allow players to test their bowling and batting skills. All the games carry ICL banner ads placed within them.
A fourth game called Gully Cricket is inspired by street cricket and Book Cricket takes users back to their schooldays, allowing them to score runs based on flipping the pages of a book.
ICL is also using contests to build engagement with the tournament. It is carrying out a Contests Championship on Contests2Win.com, a user generated contests portal. Users have to create text, video and image based contests on the website to win prizes such as match tickets. About 300 contests have already been generated within two weeks of the launch and the games have received 2,00,000 plays.
Apart from the games and contests, a cricket game called ICL in the form of a branded application is available on Orkut.com, a social networking website. Players need to add the application to their Orkut profile; once added, the game allows them to bat for two overs, score runs and challenge their friends on the Orkut network to score higher. Around 50,000 Orkut members have added the application within a week of the game's launch.
Speaking to afaqs!, Alok Kejriwal, founder and chief executive officer, Games2Win.com, says, "ICL wants a higher level of consumer participation and interaction with the ICL brand on the digital medium. It wants consumers to create content related to ICL, so we opted for the Contest Championship and allowed consumers to create contests. An application on Orkut.com enables a higher level of participation as it allows users to challenge each other and thus participate in a game."
He adds, "We allow users to copy and embed games inside their own blogs and websites and this also boosts the participation and interactivity with the ICL brand."
The Essel Group has revamped its website, IndianCricketLeague.in, and created separate websites for each team. It has launched a special section for the ICL on the MSN India portal.