About Kalinga Lancers
Kalinga Lancers is a hockey team which made its debut in the HIL (Hero Hockey India League) 2014. It is owned jointly by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL) and Odisha industrial infrastructure development corporation (IDCO). OSDPC is the co. that promotes it.
It took help from Prelude Digital an agency for implementing a social media marketing campaign for promoting this team the very first representing Odisha not only at an national level but also internationally. Since there was a time constraint with only 30 days left for first match to be played the idea was to launch a campaign which can promote the Kalinga Lancers as a household name and portrays the team as “The Peoples Team”.
Business Objectives Of Kalinga Lancers
Since the “Kalinga Lancers” did not boasted of any notable online presence before their debut thus following were their main objectives
- To ensure effective online presence, ensure regular on page activities, starting discussions and making the social media pages more interactive.
- Building up “KALINGA LANCERS” in a top of the mind brand, easy recall , enhancing the brand’s overall engagement on social media platforms
- Attracting more fans from Odisha, odia people living outside Odisha and other Hockey Enthusiasts to the “KALINGA LANCERS‘s” Social media profiles I.e. Twitter and Facebook pages.
- Focussing on creation of dialogues on the page i.e. encouraging ‘Word of Mouth’.
Strategy/Approach Adopted By Kalinga Lancers
Since there was time constraint and the target audience was more inclined towards cricket than hockey the basic idea was to pull more and more crowd as possible to home matches with maximum sale of tickets. The main challenge was that there had been no prior social media marketing campaign and it was sort of first of its kind’s campaign for Odisha’s people. Thus the task was no doubt challenging but there was also a good opportunity to leverage the power of social media to get the desired result.
Following strategies were adopted by Kalinga Lancers to achieve traction:
- The campaign started off with the hashtags like #BOBAAAL (meaning ‘Out of the World’ in odia language) and #GoKalinga. These hashtags instantly made a connect with Odias living in Odisha and other parts of the world. All the content i.e. posts and creative used both the hashtags and within few days, the fans started using these tags extensively. All posts on the social profiles were interactive and informative thus encouraging engagement.
- These posts were quite informative and included:
- Player profiles
- Fixtures and Match schedule
- Promotional activities & events like training school kids, exclusive launches of team jersey and official team mascot etc.
- Match updates in real-time, exclusive match pictures (First on net), leak-outs, photo shoots like Star sports photo shoots and fan pictures.
- Post-match and match sentiments posts including victory post and motivational posts during defeats.
- Fan posts including the pictures of contest winners.
The contests included daily winners, weekly winners and winners based on different matches. Fans from all across the globe were checking the social pages multiple times on daily basis thus making the contest funnier and friendly. There was daily announcements of winners. The response from the fans was quite amazing, as there were more than 100 entries received daily. These contests proved quite significant in increasing number of users on Twitter and Facebook page.
- As one of the major challenges for the franchise was pulling maximum people to watch matches, to achieve this not only small contests were run on a regular basis and exclusive team merchandise was given away as prizes but also there were special contests where in people had to watch live match for being eligible to participate and win the contest.
- Another important activity was the extensive promotion of online ticket buying. Lot of ‘hype’ was created by the campaigns (by way of engaging contests, apps, creative posts etc.) which resulted in a full packed stadiums for almost all matches.
- The total number of fans were more than 40,000 and still counting (it was 3rd highest team in terms of Likes after the leaders Ranchi Rhinos and 2nd placed Delhi waveriders).
- Page and Post Reach during the campaign was about 8.3 Million people.
- Engagement of the Kalinga Lancers during the campaign, was highest on the Hockey India Official Page when compared to other Hockey Indian League (HIL) teams.
- Online ticket promotion strategy on social media was pretty well received by audience and was quite successful, resulting in full packed kalinga stadium.
- Viewership of Hockey India League reached highest level on Star Sports during the period.
- The social media page and the posts generated around 233,799 interactions.
- Organic reach was around 95% of the fan-base.
This case study is good illustration of how to leverage the power of social media marketing in getting desired results. Following are the key findings from the case
- It showcases an effective integration of social media platforms likes Facebook and Twitter in engaging the target audience.
- It also showcases the power of social media in effectively promoting not so famous events/sports. It shows how you can gain desired traction for relatively lesser followed sports with the help of strategic and carefully designed social media marketing tactics.
- It shows how by using hashtags in local language can help you connect with your target audience evident from the use of hashtag #BOBAAL.
- Posting engaging and relevant content like player’s profiles, match schedules, official launches, pre and post-match discussions help in increasing the engagement of fans in form of more likes, shares and comments.
- Running of contests and acknowledging the fans with rewards always help in motivating the fans and they turn into your brand ambassadors thus spreading positive word of mouth.
- Online promotion of tickets via social media also helps in increasing engagement and converting fans from social pages to actual spectators in the stadium evident from the full