How Cricket World Cup 2023 leveraged influencers for engagement

Stefan Martyres , founder at Social Aviator

When you talk about sports campaigns, especially cricket - the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is Mauka Mauka. The tune, the cheeky content, the distinct face of the Mauka Mauka man and the emotions it captured time and again. 

When the Mauka Mauka campaign was coined at Star, back in 2014-2015, I had the privilege of working with the core team. The brief was simple - how can we stir the emotions of millions of Indians who live and breathe cricket - especially the Ind vs Pak matches? And this campaign helped us do just that. But more than that, it also taught us  an important lesson. The influence of one person - the Mauka Mauka Man - on the entire campaign.

Its impact was such that for years to come, Mauka Mauka Man aka Vishal Malhotra continued to be associated with Ind vs Pak matches - whether in World Cup or otherwise. 

Years later, Mauka Mauka continues to be one of the most successful campaigns in sports marketing and Vishal Malhotra continues to don the Mauka Man come any India vs Pakistan Match.

The key behind the success of Mauka Mauka was that it drove people’s emotions without any star power - that is what made it influential. And the evolution of influencer marketing offered people more simpler and innovative ways to continue to harness this power of relatability. This can be noted as a key reason for the shift towards Influencer marketing to promote cricket. 

From Mauka Mauka to Influencer Marketing : the evolution of the everyman in cricket communication

Content creators & digital influencers have been curating some of the most successful campaigns. Whether it is during IPL where Mumbai Indians Vs Dombivali Dons curated 8 million views organically on the YT handle of the creator alone within just a few hours from the time they posted it on their page, or through the collaborative reaction videos and meme compilations on popular influencers’ YouTube Channel.


How WCC 2023 leveraged influencer

The power of influencer marketing, when it comes to sports advertising, is unquestionable. This is the reason that ICC itself focused heavily on influencer marketing during the ICC World Cup 2023. Their tie-up with over 500 influencers including Flying Beast, BeYouNick, Scout, Dhanashree Verma, Viraj Ghelani and many more has helped garner more organic interest in the game and has steered not just the digital or broadcasting traffic, but ticket sales for key matches as well. 

These influencers were not only present in the ICC World Cup 2023 anthem - Dil Jashn Bole - but also visited key ICC events, which continued to create curiosity about the events.

Oreo’s #KuchMatBol campaign

Another fairly successful marketing campaign during the ICC World Cup has been Oreo’s #KuchMatBol campaign. The reason it worked so well, again, is that it took an innate Indian superstition - “Don’t predict or celebrate wins in cricket before it is final” - and gave it an emotional twist by making former Indian Captain MS Dhoni - the face of the campaign. 

However, the true power of this campaign could have been harnessed much more with effective and targeting influencer marketing. How many of us have stories of Cricket Superstitions that we otherwise keep hidden, but could talk about - with the right push from the right friendly people aka influencers? 

Overall, I believe that Mauka Mauka set the stage for the perfect mix to get a successful sports advertising campaign - hit the right emotion, capture stories that seem personal and tailored to you and do it in a way that is relatable to you. 

And influencer marketing is allowing people to tap into this trifecta of success with a lot more ease by simply collaborating with the right people - who have a unique bond with their audiences.

This is not only understood by brands and cricketing boards but also by cricketers, franchise owners, and broadcasters. They understand the need to effectively promote themselves via influencer marketing and that it is here to stay. The key to getting influencer marketing right is picking the influencers who have the right audience and the right communication for you and your brand. 

With Social Aviator, that is what I have strived to create - a platform that can help brands and influencers collaborate most effectively and organically that not only benefits them but also makes the journey enjoyable for the followers/consumers.

About The Author
Stefan Martyres
 is an influencer marketing specialist with over a decade long experience in the world of entertainment, sports and digital marketing. He has recently started his agency -Social Aviator - which focuses on providing specialised brand solutions, using content
creation, influencer marketing, artificial intelligence and automation that can make this process easy, smooth and effective.

If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe for free to our weekly event and subscriber alerts.