Valentine’s Day isn’t looking great this year. The Hindu Mahasabha has issued an open notice that they are going to perform instant marriages for couples who are caught showing love offline or on Facebook. With this diktat from radical Hindu organizations, cricket crazy fans are in a soup as the 11th cricket world cup is starting from the 14th. Teams like Australia, England, Srilanka, and others are battling it out from day one, wonder what excuse cricket fans will have for their loved ones.
Thanks to Star India, the official broadcaster of the upcoming ICC World Cup, life won’t be tough. The network’s portal startsports.com will offer live streaming and 24×7 video-on-demand accessible through the Web, WAP and Apps on 200+ devices, all of which will contribute towards making the action from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 easily and readily available.
Broadcasting innovations for World Cup 2015
This isn’t the only innovation Star India is bringing in the space of broadcast and digital. The broadcast network has announced a host of broadcast innovations and firsts to make this a ‘Cup for All’. For the first time, the ICC World Cup 2015 will air in six languages – Hindi, English, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. STAR India will also broadcast certain select matches, including India’s opening tie against Pakistan, in the 4K (ultra-high definition) format. This will be the first ever global broadcast of cricket in 4K.
STAR will also add two new HD channels to its sports portfolio, STAR Sports HD 3 and STAR Sports HD 4, as a lead up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. STAR Sports HD 3 will be an all-Hindi HD channel. “With India as the defending champions, the whole country is set to follow the team’s defence of its title in Australia and New Zealand and we, at STAR, plan to make this World Cup, a ‘Cup for All’. We will introduce many firsts and innovations in sports broadcasting to take the great game of cricket to the next level and provide an unprecedented viewing experience to the millions of cricket fans in India,” Sanjay Gupta, COO, STAR India said.
For the first time ever, technologies mounted on sunglasses and wickets will be used during practice sessions to showcase what the players see while batting and bowling, bringing the viewer’s closer to the game. Drone cameras to give an aerial perspective of the majestic stadiums will be used for the first ever time for the ICC World Cup.
The network also plans to engage fans with never seen before player analytics across 4000 hours of match footage, ball-by-ball data from 600 matches (ODI data from 2010-till date), 200 players and 14 venues will be analysed in new look graphics.
To make the viewing experience much more insightful Star Sports has got 13 captains, 20 World Cup winners and 26 World Cup semi-finalists to feature on the commentary and expert panel. The likes of Allan Border, Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Shane Warne, Saurav Ganguly among others will add the glamour to the expert insights.
Star Sports started its marketing initiatives just a month back with ‘Carry the World Cup’ campaign. The 1 minute video conceptualised by Lowe Lintas and Partners is a collection of shots of people engaging in various activities throughout the day as they watch the tournament on their mobile devices. Meanwhile, a peppy song plays in the background, using their actions as the lyrics to the song.
The film ends with the entire population running towards this huge screen, where they all place their phones in slots to create a huge screen. As the camera pulls back to show the crowd, a voice over says, “Watch the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 on Starsports.com.”
The message is quite clear – Star Sports wants our cricket loving country to carry the world cup wherever they go in their pockets. India being the fastest growing smartphone country in Asia and rising data consumption, Star Sports’ money is on the right spot. “The youth don’t believe that life comes to a standstill when the cricket World Cup is happening. It’s this thought that was a springboard for the creative. We then just went ahead and showed all the stuff you can do while watching the World Cup,” Arun Iyer, national creative director, Lowe Lintas and Partners added.
#CarryTheWorldCup was the hashtag associated to spread the word on social media. Lyrics of the peppy song in the ad became the focus of the visual creatives on social media which gained many eyeballs.
In a matter of few days Star Sports rolled out its aggressive campaign #wontgiveitback. The minute long video conceptualized by Lowe Lintas & Partners features the men in blue of the Indian cricket team and fans vowing the support that “we won’t give back the world cup”.
The film opens with Virat Kohli saying ‘Woh sledge karenge’ (opponents will sledge). The next shot shows fans replying to Kohli saying, ‘We’ll give it back’. Next, Rohit Sharma is saying ‘They’ll (opponents) play mind games. The fans reply once more saying, ‘We’ll give it back’. Finally, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is shown and he says, ‘But the World Cup..’ which is met by a huge roar ‘…we won’t give it back’ chant. The film ends with a super of the ICC World Cup 2015 logo.
The film captures the aggressive attitude of the defending champions of the Indian cricket team that gives back to the opponents when required on the field. “We wanted to be a little inspiring in nature since it is the ICC World Cup and we are going there as the defending champions. The whole idea is – when it comes to aggression, we will give it back but we won’t give the World Cup back. That’s the whole plan that this is the attitude the team is going to come with and it won’t be easy to take it from them as they will fight till the end,” said Arun.
The video is being promoted on social media with various renditions with different cricketers. The social media properties of Star Sports – Facebook and Twitter are also building up the excitement with relevant information, fun quiz and interesting content around the world cup with #CWC15
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) February 4, 2015
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) February 5, 2015
Prior to the marketing and digital initiatives, Star Sports did “The ICC World Cup Trophy Tour” where it showcased the ICC World Cup trophy in malls, cricket grounds and educational institutions in cities such as Ranchi, Delhi, Nagpur, Mumbai and Jamnagar.
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) January 23, 2015
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) January 27, 2015
With 8 days to go for the world cup now, Star Sports has indeed kicked off its promotions and engagement with fans on the right note; it is only going to get bigger with every match from 14th February. One of them being Big B – Amitabh Bachchan joining the commentary team for India’s opening World Cup game against Pakistan on 15th February.
— STAR Sports (@StarSportsIndia) February 1, 2015
Even though Amitabh joining the commentary box is a joint promotion for his latest movie Shamitabh but it is one of the first’s done by Star Sports.