MoneyGram Selects An ‘Ultimate Cricket Fan’ To Report Live From The ICC Champions Trophy

A review of MoneyGram's Facebook hunt for the 'Ultimate Cricket Fan' who would win a chance to report live from the ICC Champions Trophy semifinals and finals

MoneyGram Facebok winner

This is a guest post by Nitin Amlani, who is a student at Narsee Monji College of Management Studies, in which he reviews the Facebook campaign ‘Ultimate Cricket Fan’ by Moneygram for the ICC Champions Trophy.

Be it a new movie release, a sporting event, new product launch or even a launch of new saas-bahu saga; it is a no brainer for anyone of us that more often than not a certain kind of contest would be weaved around social media platforms. But it is refreshing to notice that efforts are being put to allow the conversation to continue even after the contest is over. Instead of just offering cash prizes or travel trips, winners of the contests are increasingly being involved to contribute to the conversation; this is in order to seamlessly integrate their organic content.

The recently concluded MoneyGram “Ultimate Cricket Fan” contest for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy, was more than just a paid travel package for the lovers of the game.

MoneyGram Facebok winner

Ultimate Cricket Fan campaign

Launched on 8th April 2013, the contest asked cricket fans to:

  • Upload a photo in their favorite cricket gear on MoneyGram’s Cricket Facebook page
  • And a 150-word explanation defining how they are the “Ultimate Cricket Fan”

The first phase of the contest was live till 25th April , wherein participants had to gather ‘likes’ and ‘votes’ to increase their chances to make it to second phase (and in turn spread the word amongst their networks).

Later ten finalists were chosen by MoneyGram and were asked to create a short video depicting their passion for the sport and upload the same on the Facebook page app. Mandate for participants was to convince the public and contest judges, through their videos, to vote for their entry and eventually crown them as the “Ultimate Cricket Fan.”

Moneygram Facebook Top 10

The winner of the contest will report live from the match venues during the ICC Champions Trophy semifinals and finals to be held on June 19-23. Winner would enjoy access to dressing rooms, broadcast & commentary area as well. Hence MoneyGram would continue to converse with the audience on social media through blogs, events & other activities conducted by the selected “Ultimate Cricket Fan.” The entire trip would be sponsored by MoneyGram along with necessities like Laptop, Tablet , Digital camera and more for the “Ultimate Cricket fan” Sports-writer/Blogger/Reporter!

Is it an effective campaign for Moneygram?

According to Juan Agualimpia, EVP and CMO of MoneyGram, the premise behind such a contest is that the cricket fans have a unique connection and love for the sport. This contest is designed to channel that passion by enabling the winner to bring fans from around the world closer to the Champions Trophy tournament through real time live reporting, blogging. This indeed makes sense, as Indian Cricket fans love to debate/discuss and share cricketing gyaan. And with role models like Harsha Bhogle, there is an increasing interest towards cricket commentary/reporting.

Also, such a design makes a lot of sense for MoneyGram. MoneyGram is a financial institution specializing in money transfer services. They also have a a multi-year agreement for sponsorship rights from 2011 through 2015 for all ICC events. Being a non-media company, instead of opting for professional services for creating original content for their social media entities, this is a far more contest effective design. And also it helps to create an ecosystem for natural conversations between the cricketing fans.

Is there a scope of improvement for such contests?

A trend that has been quite active for some time now. Initially brands would select a social media influencer and engage with him in such activities but with time every one is evolving. Last year, Darshan Chokhani was elected as the “Social Media Speedster”, a contest organized by Monster India and Marussia F1 Team during the F1 India Grand Prix, 2012. Darshan who had been an F1 enthusiast got a chance due to his sheer passion towards the sport and he had shared his experience with us too.

Following the trend, Heineken brought their successful social reporter campaign to India during the recently concluded UEFA Champions League. After a rigorous selection, Akhil Shah was selected and was sent to watch the UEFA Champions League final in UK where he had to report about the game and experiences on social media. In the ongoing ICC Champions Cup, Castrol ran a Facebook contest to select their eligible fan – Sumit Tyagi who would not only witness the India-Pakistan match but will also have to extensively report about it.

However, selecting a deserving candidate gets a little tricky specially when you have the voting concept. In such a design there is also a need to keep a sharp eye on quality of the content (as Winners may not be professional writers/reports/bloggers). This is what precisely is the scope of improvement for such contests.

The different stages of Ultimate Fan Contest should have involved better evaluation of the skill sets needed for reporting a Sporting Event of such a scale. The one minute videos posted by some finalists appear to be just about average. Also, there were some concerns raised by fellow participants about the selection of the Winner, as shown in the snap shot below:

MoneyGram Concerns by fans

Do let us know in comments your views on such a contest design.