Cricket’s Page 3

page2ESPN‘s subsidiary Cricinfo.com has launched Page2, a masala subsite dedicated to the DLF Indian Premier League. Yes, you guessed it right – it’s like Page 3 but not quite. The site will feature coverage of the matches from South Africa by Cricinfo reporters, off-beat photos, user generated features, commentary by Andy Zaltman, widgets, polls and games. It also offers light reading in the form of player profiles spice with  humour and a comic strip called Thwackman, the IPL Superhero. Lots of interesting, unique elements that will woo those not interested in cricket with their behind-the-scenes tidbits. It is a respite after the tiny-font filled, overcrowded IPL site from Cricinfo.

Kolkata Knight Riders Splash With Flash

kkrlogoDLF Indian Premier League team Kolkata Knight Riders has gone all out in building a bright, flash-intensive website, which is miles ahead of other teams. Take a look for yourself – the official sites for Delhi DaredevilsRajasthan Royals, Kings 11 Punjab and Chennai Superkings – appear lifeless and passive in comparison. KKR’s site starts with a short introduction that zooms to full screen automatically with beautiful graphics, followed by the website which plays the video of the theme song on small TV frame. It highlights the commercial aspect of IPL, hawking merchandise, gifts and downloads. You have to scroll down to get to details of the team, players and schedule. Very stylish, it gets a thumbs up for creativity.

Nikhil adds: Call me old fashioned, but I don’t really like flash based sites. I thought KKR had the best site for IPLs first season – text based, with no splash screens, and above all, great irreverent humor. Though this site may look better than the others, I dont think there was a need for an upgrade. One doesn’t want to see a splash screen every time one logs in, and text based sites do tend to index better on search.

Mobile Fan Club

mig33_logoDelhi Daredevils has tied up with mig33, an application that allows mobile users to chat from their mobiles, to launch Cricket FanZone. On it, members can discuss the IPL, watch matches and chat. Mig33 claims a user base of 18 million worldwide but how popular is it in India?

Users will be able to access all the information that is being distributed in other social networking websites – ball-by-ball commentary, news updates from the team, etc. A virtual store is being planned where users can buy Delhi Daredevils virtual merchandise. The only unique opportunity that this tie up brings to the cricket fan is the chance to chat with the players. And for that reason, it could be a crowd puller.

IPL On Twitter

twitter_logo_headerAll the teams have taken to Twittering already. If you are an IPL fan, you might want to add these Twitter profiles to stay updated with the teams: Mumbai Indians, Chennai Superkings, Royal Challengers. Kings XI Punjab has attracted only 8.  Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders are way ahead of other teams with 350 and 250 followers respectively.

Massive Following On SMS GupShup

For those who would rather text message than scrap or post comments, some teams have also set up communities on SMSGupShup. There are three communities as part of the IPL special on the site – Rajasthan Royals , Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers. All are experiencing a rapidly growing membership that is ten times the size of online social networking sites. Rajasthan Royals clocks 28,748 members while Deccan Chargers has 26,571 and Delhi Daredevils is the most popular with 33,124 members.

More Fans On Facebook than Orkut?

facebookrrOn Orkut and Facebook, both official and unofficial communities of the teams are seeing a surge of new members.  Facebook seems to be the destination for Indian IPL this year – the official DLF Indian Premier League facebook community has 1500 members while the official Orkut one has only six. Kolkata Knight Riders’ Facebook community also leads its Orkut community by 150 members. Deccan Chargers’ communities on Facebook and Orkut also reflect this trend with 366 fans versus 206 fans. With 12,805 fans of the Rajasthan Royals on its Facebook community, no wonder the team did not feel the need for an Orkut group.

The teams have also put up video channels on Youtube. Check out Rajasthan Royals and Deccan Chargers.