Star Sports India Engages Twitter Users During The Man Utd-Chelsea Game

During the football match Star Sports India asked fans to define the word of the day flashed during the match on Twitter along with #soccertag

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Twitter and television have joined the mutual admiration society. Yes, you have guessed it right – some more news on how social media is shaping up in a country where infrastructure is in a big mess. Star Sports India, the sports channel owned by ESPN Star Sports network initiated a cool way of engaging with football fans while they enjoyed the arch rivals Manchester United and Chelsea playing at Old Trafford. Twitter became the secondary device in this engagement initiative between Star Sports and its fans.

The idea was to engage fans while they watched the game and also create a buzz on Twitter. So while the game was on TV, the channel displayed the word of the day. Twitter users had to grab the word, define it in a wacky and creative way and tweet it with the Twitter handle of Star Sports India along with the hashtag #soccertag. The word of the day for the match was #Striker. The below tweet gives you the hint.

The contest that was open till noon today, has a line of goodies for the best tweets that could define the word of the day. And the feeling is that this activity is going to happen more, which is reflected in a tweet from the channel.

The gradual move of Twitter as a second screen is no more a mystery. We recently saw a series of similar kind of initiatives driven by TV channels with Twitter. Sony PIX worked closely with Twitter to promote MIB 3 television premiere by engaging in live conversations with the viewers, thereby making it the first ever interactive movie premiere in India. The same was followed during the recently concluded “Nach Baliye 5″ finale by Star Plus. Viewers of the live show on TV were invited to take part in the Twitter contest to predict the Nach Baliye 5 winner. Colors TV too, joined the bandwagon to engage with twitterati during the Miss India contest. The below tweet provides the hint.

Twitter is setting the stage for Social TV in India and the network being used as a secondary device for engagement  with the television content, highlights how effectively the medium can be used.Twitter’s ongoing integration with IPL6 has created a new benchmark in this direction. 2013 will be exciting as we will see a bigger synergy between TV, Bollywood and social media. And definitely the global town square – Twitter will play a greater role!

But, Twitter has its own challenges too. Brands have no control on the discussions that happen around such contests and a generic hashtag can twist the discussions at any time. iCouch, the app from iDubba is trying to overcome this problem and their recent tie up with ZeeCafe for Grey’s Anatomy show hints that even TV channels have witnessed the shortcomings of Twitter.

Nonetheless, an exciting time for consumers as well as brands while they get even closer.