Cricket is still a religion in the country, even though the God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar has retired from the game. With the T20 IPL madness about to hit the country, Times Internet had launched a cricket portal Gocricket.com. The portal will be a cricket news destination with original, editorial content, integrated video features, and a rich, cross-platform experience. To start with the company has roped in ex-Indian captain Sourav Ganguly as a guest editor.
Because of my liking for Sourav Ganguly I clicked on the site to find out what the new portal offers different from the existing ones. The portal has enabled social logging to make your reading experience better but it isn’t a mandatory option. The below screen gives you a quick look of the Home page which looks like a dedicated site for the upcoming IPL matches.
With a counter showing at your extreme right the number of days to go for the IPL, the home page showcases Top News, IPL 2014, ICC World T20 and there is even room for domestic cricket. Besides the home page is also running a poll while it is featuring videos, team rankings, among others.
Apart from the Home page, the site has a special category for the upcoming IPL 2014 with sub-sections like News, Fixtures and Teams. The other section that needs a look are - Live Scores, Fixtures, Results, Columns, Photos and Videos. The below screen grab gives you a quick snapshot of the video section:
The category Columns becomes interesting with opinion based articles from experts on the latest development in the cricketing world. For example “Why South Africans can’t but do stand the IPL” is an opinion article from Telford Vice who has been reporting on South African cricket since 1991. This kind of reportage will help the portal to build its base. Gocricket has built an in-house editorial team and addition of Sourav as a guest author could be handy considering his fan following and the vast experience he has about the game. Going further I am sure the list of influential contributors is going to grow.
The portal has launched the required mobile apps supporting various operating systems (iPhone, Android, iPad) along with a touch friendly mobile site for smartphones and a WAP site for feature phones. Additionally GoCricket is allowing users to sign up, get mobile alerts and track their favourite players and teams.
With the IPL starting from today the website features a video scorecard with real time video clips integrated into the scorecard. The portal is showcasing a link of Willow TV added on the top of the site, chances are that the portal might live stream the IPL matches along with Willow. Last year Times Internet had used their Boxtv platform to stream IPL matches.
The latest launch of Gocricket has happened keeping in mind the IPL season. While the site has really interesting rich visual content, it would be interesting to see how it competes with existing players like ESPNCricinfo or CricBuzz.
However, the portal being backed by Times Internet makes a lot of difference not only in terms of content and coverage but also on influence of the brand on the market.
Image credit: Telegraph