Hero Indian Super League(ISL) attracts massive fan following

Hero Indian Super League(ISL)
social fan following
The traditionally cricket dominated sporting scene in India is experiencing a massive turnaround in fan following for football, and it’s no longer limited to just television. The recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Brazil garnered record television viewership despite the odd timings, but the real surprise was the huge social media buzz it generated. With over 3 million tweets sent out by Indians, India was the global Number 2 in terms of social media buzz, behind only the hosts - Brazil! India also saw its highest online audience during the World Cup with 6.5 million people watching football related content online.

The much talked about topic now a days is surely the Hero Indian Super League(ISL). Lots of top class foreigners who might very well have jumped on the wrong side of their age but by no means have lost their popularity and with their inclusion, Indian Football is set to witness a dramatic change in its following. Some might argue if it could very well push the i-League further down the pecking order in terms of viewership and following, but the fact remains that ISL will definitely bring some much needed attention to Indian Football.
Indian Super League fan following
Hero Indian Super League(ISL) shows tremendous fan following on the web, Stats presented by www.ABCDFootball.com,
Stats as on 20:30 IST, 18th September 2014

Looking at the fan following in terms of social networking sites are concerned, Delhi Dynamos FC seems to be moving the right way in terms of publicity closely followed by Atletico de Kolkata and Mumbai City FC. The capital’s very own football club were the first to dribble past others to cross the 150,000 Facebook fans mark. Launched a month ago, the Delhi Dynamos lead the ISL brigade on social media with the most fans on twitter with over 16,000 followers while on facebook they have more than 2.3 lacs of followers only behind Mumbai City FC, who are the first to cross the 2.5 lacs hurdle.
Delhi Dynamos FC leads the
race off the field

It’s clear that the battle for fans will be played out in the online space and the Delhi Dynamos seem to be putting in all their energies behind building a solid online fan base. A source from within the team explained their strategy: “Today, everybody is on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Apart from popularizing the club itself, we want to engage the population of Delhi in football as a sport. The idea is to not only talk to existing football fans, but also connect with the fence-sitters who do not know much about the sport or its rules. This is why we share snippets and facts about football every day”.

The Dynamos are certainly topping the charts in terms of popularizing the sport and their own team in the process. The merits of their philosophy of “Thok Denge Goal” may be debatable and controversial in some way, but it certainly seems to be getting them a lot of traction in social media. The team’s official hashtag - #ThokDenge trended All-India on Twitter for over two hours on July 18th, and almost 50% of the conversations were by women.

Debunking the myth that football in India has a male-skewed fan base, our source at the Delhi Dynamos said that “Look, we already know that 25% of FIFA’s online viewership in India came from women. We want to convert all Dilliwallas, men and women, into loyal fans of the Delhi Dynamos. So we will not be focusing on any one gender in our promotions. Our objective is to share our passion for football with everyone, and be known for the playing a good, ethical game.”

While the ISL teams continue their battle for the most fans in the social media space, football is the ultimate winner with more and more people engaging with the sport. Only time can tell which team attracts more supporters at kickoff. Till then, it’s the clash in the virtual world.

The Indian Super League has eight franchise teams and the tournament will run from October to December this year.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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