Yash Bhatia
Influencer Marketing

ICC bets big on Influencer Marketing for Cricket World Cup 2023

ICC has collaborated with influencers like Flying Beast, BeYouNick, Scout, Dhanashree Verma, Viraj Ghelani and many more for the promotion of the World Cup.

As the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup kicks off on October 5, 2023, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is placing a substantial bet on influencer marketing. This is evident through the inclusion of not only Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh and popular singer Pritam but also several influencers, such as Gaurav Taneja (Flying Beast), BeYouNick, Scout, Dhanashree Verma, Viraj Ghelani, and sports presenter Jatin Sapru, in the official anthem, 'Dil Jashn Bole'.

As part of a broader influencer marketing strategy, the ICC has partnered with Meta to work with more than 500 creators across India, aiming to expand the event's reach to new audiences on a global level.  

Exclusive access to matches has been granted to content creators, allowing them to produce unique content in their individual styles, with a particular focus on regional language and style.

The matches will have a local creator in attendance so that content can be produced in the local language and style. 

Within the pool of over 500 creators that Meta has collaborated with, they have introduced a specific creator intervention called 'Super 50.' In this initiative, a group of 50 creators will cover 48 out of the 50 matches, with each creator contributing in their distinct style.

These creators have been hand-picked by the brand to share behind-the-scenes content on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Threads, offering insights to cricket enthusiasts globally.

For the CWC 2023, the global governing body placed significant emphasis on influencers, evident in the launch of the inaugural  World Cup campaign titled ‘It Takes One Day.’ The campaign featured Shah Rukh Khan, and it was unveiled among 85 content creators from various parts of India. The launch event was organised by Meta.  

Digital channels play a pivotal role in this strategy as well, with the introduction of a first-of-its-kind vertical feed coverage available for mobile users on their website, the Official CWC 2023 app, and ICC’s Meta channels. 

The ICC has encouraged its viewers to follow them on their WhatsApp and Instagram news broadcast channels to enjoy even greater access to the events with updates, latest news and videos. 

Numerous digital creators, such as Chinki Minki, Neel, Shresta Iyer, Siddharth Nigam, and, Abhishek Nigam, are actively grooving to the official anthem on social media, urging users to take up the #DilJashnBole challenge and tag the ICC’s official page on Instagram (@icc).

Kalyan Kumar, co-founder and CEO, Social Catalyzers says, “With Influencers, ICC can target different audiences who may not be as crazy for cricket as older generations. The number of people watching cricket in our country is huge, the representation may be decreasing for younger TG as they would be glued to different forms of content.” 

He states that the strategy behind featuring a Bollywood star, a gamer and various influencers in the anthem is aimed at achieving an extensive reach among the younger target audience.

“Behind the collaboration with gaming influencers, I think there could be a possibility that ICC could show interest in the gaming industry. In the future, ICC could release some properties in the gaming world. All is guesswork at the moment, but this shows there’s an intent of ICC in the space, ” Kumar highlights. 

Gautam Madhavan, founder & CEO of MadInfluence, the official influencer marketing partner with Disney+Hotstar for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, underscores Disney+Hotstar's objective behind this influencer marketing push. 

He says, “The World Cup is a big festival that doesn't need marketing by default. Disney is looking for influencers to talk about the World Cup in a silent manner with multiple screenings. The main objective of Hotstar is different from ICC, as they want users to download their app, while Star’s objective is to get users on TV. One of the reasons is that ICC holds the IP so they are looking to spend more than the OTT platform.” 

Star Sports, the official broadcaster of the global tournament, is also leveraging influencers, with their first campaign featuring stand-up comedian Aakash Gupta.

Madhavan highlights the distinct objectives of Disney+Hotstar and Star Sports, with ICC's primary focus on the event itself, prompting Disney+Hotstar to emphasise promotion of other offerings.

He points out that if the ICC is actively promoting, it wouldn't be logical for Disney+Hotstar to engage in redundant marketing efforts. Instead, their strategy is geared towards promoting a diverse range of offerings beyond the ICC event.

“Hotstar is looking to maximise social media clout not just on cricket, but on other sporting properties like Pro Kabaddi League. This is one of the reasons to sign Kartik Aaryan as ambassador, to talk about other offerings other than the World Cup,” Madhavan highlights.  

In addition to digital efforts, ICC is actively engaging with influencers and organising promotional camps in various cities to enhance the visibility of the event.

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