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Mumbai Indians Play Hard on Facebook but Kolkata Knight Riders run Away With the Championship on Social Media

Unmetric Inc. (PR Newswire) - 05 March 2013

Mumbai Indians Play Hard on Facebook but Kolkata Knight Riders run Away With the Championship on Social Media

CHENNAI/PRNewswire/ --

New Report Reveals how IPL Teams are Competing off the Field to win Loyal Fans on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

It could easily be said to be one of the greatest shows on Earth. A sporting event that unites a nation of 1.2 billion people and her diaspora, spread far and wide across the globe. The glamourous, glitzy and at times, controversial IPL has captivated India in a way that football dominates European sports and the Super Bowl holds a special place for every American. Today, Unmetric, the social media benchmarking company from New York, releases the first ever infographic to investigate how the eight IPL teams are igniting passions and rivalries in the run up to IPL 6 using social media.



To determine which IPL team is creating the most buzz using their social media channels, Unmetric analysed data between 1st December, 2012 and 31st January, 2013.

Underlying the entire report is the Unmetric Score, a number from 0 to 100 that includes various quantitative and qualitative social media metrics to produce a single, benchmarkable score by which brands can be ranked. In this respect, it was found that most teams were fairly evenly matched on Facebook. The Mumbai Indians, owned by Reliance Industries, came out ahead with a score of 32, aided, perhaps, by India's true blue Master Blaster. The Kolkata Knight Riders were a close second, scoring 31 for their Facebook efforts, while the Chennai Super Kings rounded out the top 3 with a score of 29. New team, Sunrisers Hyderabad, showed a statement of intent, at least on Facebook, by ranking a respectable fourth, with a score of 24.

The eight IPL teams have captured a total of 8.5m fans on Facebook, yet the top three teams command more than 72% of the total fans. The Mumbai Indians attracted almost 3 million fans, while the Knight Riders and Super Kings have 1.6m fans each, which is 600,000 more than fourth placed Royal Challengers. Being such a new team, the Sunrisers have still only managed to attract 3,000 fans, perhaps due to a lack of promotion or awareness of their official Facebook page.

Two teams have been seeing some staggering Facebook fan growth rates in the last two months. Kings XI Punjab is the most surprising, recording a 519% growth rate (230,000 new fans), despite being in the IPL since its inception. It's unclear exactly how the team went from 45,000 fans to 250,000 fans in just 3 days, however the team was running their 'Awwal fan' contest at the time. Less surprising, but no less spectacular, Sunrisers Hyderabad saw a growth rate of 384%, but in terms of actual numbers, only added 1,500 new fans. Mumbai Indians were the slowest growing team at just 1.6%, but with so many fans, one would expect them to have a lower growth rate. Kolkata Knight Riders posted a 15% fan growth, which was enough to take them from the third to second most popular team in the IPL ahead of Chennai Super Kings.

Teams hording fans is one thing, engaging them is another. Unmetric calculates fan engagement based on the number of Likes, Comments, Shares and Estimated Impressions that each post receives to create an Engagement Score. In this respect, it's the Sunrisers Hyderabad that stands head and shoulders above the rest with an Engagement Score of 560. This is followed by the Mumbai Indians, which scored 100 and Chennai Super Kings which scored 74. Rajasthan Royals finished at the bottom of the table with an Engagement Score of 23. The average Engagement Score for all the teams was 74.

It was news that broke cricketing hearts across the country when Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs that turned out to be the most engaging for all teams. The Mumbai Indians post about Sachin's retirement on the 23rd December received over 27,000 Likes, more than any other post analysed, and got an Engagement Score of 631.

To further delve into what's working for IPL teams, Unmetric researched the content strategies of all the teams to see what they talk about off season and during the previous IPL 2012 season. While there are some differences, like score updates and game results, all the teams concentrated on asking questions related to the team and providing news about the players during both periods. Interestingly, talk about offers didn't excite fans as this content category received the lowest engagement. During the off season, talking about merchandise received a much higher engagement than when the matches were actually happening. Overall, talking about game results during the season is a sure way to increase fan engagement and reach more people.

Unmetric not only looked at how well fans were engaging with the teams, but how much the teams were appreciating the fans. In that respect, it was found that the IPL teams respond to less than 1% of fan posts on average. Chennai Super Kings don't even allow their fans to post on their wall. The standout team is Kings XI Punjab, which replied to more than 10% of fan posts, although they took an average of 11 hours to reply to each post.

Twitter doesn't have the same user penetration in India as it does in western markets, but its popularity is fast gaining mainstream acceptance amongst major brands. All eight IPL teams have embraced Twitter and using the Unmetric Score, there is little to differentiate between them. The Kolkata Knight Riders lead the way with an Unmetric Score of 28, followed by Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals which scored 26 and 24 respectively.

In terms of raw numbers, Kolkata Knight Riders stand tall with 140,000 followers, possibly helped by the influence of their enigmatic owner and avid (until 9th January, at least) Twitter user, King Khan. Chennai Super Kings are second, with over 110,000 followers and the Mumbai Indians are third with 90,000 followers. New comers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, are unique in that they have nearly as many followers on Twitter as fans on Facebook.

For most teams, their Twitter accounts grew between 4% and 8% except for Sunrisers Hyderabad which saw 142% growth thanks to being the new team in the league. The Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians both grew by 7.7% but the Super Kings added slightly more followers, 7,800 to the Indians' 7,600.

The teams sent an average of 325 tweets each during the time period analysed. Mumbai Indians were the most prolific with 750 tweets, or about 12 tweets per day. The Pune Warriors were the least talkative, sending just 21 tweets throughout the 12 month period, an indication of why they are the second least followed team on Twitter.

Many large brands are increasingly using Twitter as a customer service platform. Indeed, Airtel currently responds to 250 tweets per day, but the IPL teams appear to still view Twitter mostly as a publishing platform as replies make up an average of just 12% of the tweets sent. Kolkata Knight Riders had the highest percentage of replies at 43%, but it was the Kings XI Punjab that sent the most replies overall with 100 replies. Delhi Daredevils were the least likely to reply, with a solitary reply for the two months analysed. Almost all the replies analysed were plain text, however a few teams asked fans to visit a link for more information.

The Kings XI Punjab took engaging their followers more seriously, not only with the most replies, but also being the quickest to reply. A follower could expect a reply to their tweet in an average of 50 minutes. Chennai Super Kings were third quickest on the buzzer, replying to tweets in an average of 90 minutes per tweet. Pune Warriors took the longest to reply, followers could expect a follow up an average of two days after their tweet was made.

On YouTube, it was the Sunrisers Hyderabad that lead the field with an Unmetric Score of 31. Royal Challengers and Knight Riders followed in 2nd and 3rd with scores of 24 and 18 respectively. Pune Warriors finished bottom with an Unmetric Score of 12.

YouTube is all about views and in that respect, Royal Challengers Bangalore have the game sown up with a massive 3.8m views on their 268 videos, over 1.6m more than all the other teams' video views put together. Rajasthan Royals was second with 1.1m views, aided by the fact that they've uploaded more than twice the number of videos than any other team. Kolkata Knight Riders placed third with 485,000 views and also uploaded the third most videos. By comparison, Pune Warriors didn't even manage 5,000 views in the 2 years they have been in existence.

With such a high number of views, one would expect Royal Challengers to have a low video view growth rate. On the contrary, they grew their views at 7.3%, adding 260,000 new views in the period analysed which is more than most other teams' total views. In terms of pure growth, it was once again Sunrisers Hyderabad that came out ahead with a 194% growth rate.

Part of Royal Challengers dominance on YouTube can be explained by the number of subscribers they have, 3,500, far higher than the IPL average of 945 subscribers. The number of subscribers that Pune Warriors have can go some way to explaining why they have such few video views.

Facebook Top 5s

Unmetric Score

1. Mumbai Indians - 32


2. Kolkata Knight Riders - 31
3. Chennai Super Kings - 29
4. Sunrisers Hyderabad - 24
5. Kings XI Punjab - 23

Facebook Fans

1. Mumbai Indians - 2,947,605
2. Kolkata Knight Riders - 1,581,374
3. Chennai Super Kings - 1,561,790
4. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 934,071
5. Delhi Daredevils - 574,392

Fan Growth Rate

1. Kings XI Punjab - 519.20%
2. Sunrisers Hyderabad - 384.40%
3. Kolkata Knight Riders - 15%
4. Delhi Daredevils - 8%
5. Pune Warriors India - 6.40%

Engagement Score

1. Sunrisers Hyderabad - 560
2. Mumbai Indians - 100
3. Chennai Super Kings - 74
4. Pune Warriors India - 56
5. Kolkata Knight Riders - 51

Replies to Fans

1. Kings XI Punjab - 106
2. Mumbai Indians - 4
3. Delhi Daredevils - 2
4. Kolkata Knight Riders - 2
5. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 1

Twitter Top 5s

Unmetric Score

1. Kolkata Knight Riders - 28
2. Chennai Super Kings - 26
3. Rajasthan Royals - 24
4. Kings XI Punjab - 22
5. Mumbai Indians - 22


1. Kolkata Knight Riders - 141,876
2. Chennai Super Kings - 110,983
3. Mumbai Indians - 90,242
4. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 79,904
5. Rajasthan Royals - 54,260

Follower Growth Rate

1. Sunrisers Hyderabad - 142.90%
2. Chennai Super Kings - 7.70%
3. Mumbai Indians - 7.70%
4. Delhi Daredevils - 7.10%
5. Rajasthan Royals - 6.30%

Total Tweets

1. Mumbai Indians - 748
2. Rajasthan Royals - 582
3. Kings XI Punjab - 468
4. Chennai Super Kings - 366
5. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 338

Number of Replies

1. Kings XI Punjab - 100
2. Rajasthan Royals - 70
3. Kolkata Knight Riders - 70
4. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 50
5. Sunrisers Hyderabad - 29

Average Reply Time

1. Delhi Daredevils - 00:19:38
2. Kings XI Punjab - 00:49:58
3. Chennai Super Kings - 01:33:12
4. Kolkata Knight Riders - 01:51:36
5. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 04:05:55


Unmetric Score

1. Sunrisers Hyderabad - 31
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 24
3. Kolkata Knight Riders - 18
4. Delhi Daredevils - 16
5. Rajasthan Royals - 16

Video Views

1. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 3,798,239
2. Rajasthan Royals - 1,088,354
3. Kolkata Knight Riders - 485,506
4. Mumbai Indians - 302,223
5. Delhi Daredevils - 170,335

Video View Growth Rate

1. Sunrisers Hyderabad - 194%
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 7.30%
3. Rajasthan Royals - 5.50%
4. Kings XI Punjab - 3%
5. Kolkata Knight Riders - 2.50%

Video Uploads

1. Rajasthan Royals - 588
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 268
3. Kolkata Knight Riders - 132
4. Mumbai Indians - 92
5. Kings XI Punjab - 84

Average Video Length

1. Pune Warriors - 00:05:31
2. Royal Challengers Bangalore - 00:02:46
3. Delhi Daredevils - 00:02:00
4. Kings XI Punjab - 00:01:56
5. Rajasthan Royals - 00:01:03

"With the IPL captivating such a huge percentage of the population every year, it's interesting that just 0.5% of the population has chosen to become a fan of one of the teams on Facebook," said Unmetric CEO, Lakshmanan Narayan. "However, it looks like the IPL teams are as fiercely competitive on social media as they are on the field because it's remarkable how closely matched the teams are on social media. There isn't a single team that can be said to be pulling ahead of all the others as, just like on the field, they all have their strengths and weaknesses on social media."

Unmetric is the Social Media Benchmarking Company. The Unmetric SaaS platform delivers a real-time, high availability service for brands that helps them stop flying blind with their social media efforts. Using a combination of machine learning and human intelligence, Unmetric delivers competitive data, benchmarks and insights for all major industry sectors across the major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Now, brands are finally able to answer the basic business question of "How do we stack up against the competition?" when it comes to their social media presence.


Unmetric compiled its IPL Report by sourcing data from its own social media benchmarking platform. Data and Insights on brands' activities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest were analysed for the period between 1st December, 2012 to 31st December, 2013.

About Unmetric:

Unmetric Inc. is headquartered in New York City and works with clients across the world. The Unmetric platform was established to give Fortune 500 companies and other large global brands and agencies key performance data around which they could benchmark their social media efforts and answer the question "Is that good?". For more information, visit, or check out the Unmetric blog at

Primary Media Contact: Peter Claridge,, 91-893-9704365

Secondary Media Contact: Olivia Gallion,, 1-415-6779125