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Online fantasy gaming is a fast-growing space in India, and in their bid to woo the country’s cricket-crazy population, a majority of domestic fantasy firms have signed up famous cricketers as brand ambassadors. Market leader Dream11 took a significant step in this direction in 2017 when it roped in former Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni to endorse its offerings. The next year, Indian skipper Virat Kohli became the face of Mobile Premier League (MPL). Strategically timed with the advent of the cricketing season in India this year were a slew of announcements from various fantasy gaming companies. HalaPlay signed up Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya as brand ambassadors in March and the same month, BookMyShow-backed fantasy sports company Fantain announced Suresh Raina as its brand ambassador. Within days, Gautam Gambhir was signed by cricket gaming startup CricPlay.
In yet another celebrity cricketer endorsement, iconic Indian cricketer and former captain of the Indian cricket team Sourav Ganguly has been signed on as brand ambassador by online fantasy gaming site My11Circle.
My11Circle is the “new kid in the block” as far as fantasy gaming is concerned. Operated by PlayGames 24×7 Pvt.Ltd, the company that also operates rummy website RummyCircle and social gaming site Ultimate Games, the platform was launched on January 25 this year. Ganguly or “Dada” as he’s fondly called by millions of his fans is a cricketing legend with more than 11,000 ODI runs to his name. As brand ambassador for My11Circle, Ganguly will feature across the platform’s publicity campaigns.
2019 is undoubtedly a busy year in cricket. The annual edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kept millions of cricket fans across the country busy right till the finals on May 12 when Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by one run to lift the trophy. Continuing the excitement now is the ICC Cricket World Cup, being hosted in England and slated to begin on May 30. The World Cup fever will continue right till July-mid.
Capitalizing on the massive spike in interest for cricket, a host of new players have entered the online fantasy sports market. While My11Circle launched in January, most recently – on May 8, Paytm’s Gamepind announced the launch of its daily fantasy cricket portal, Gamepind Fantasy Sports. The existing fantasy sports portals have also amped up their advertising budgets with a major focus on their fantasy cricket offerings.
With Ganguly as the brand ambassador, My11Circle will also be looking to bank on the cricketer’s popularity to engage more cricket fans and increase its user base.
Talking about joining My11Circle as brand ambassador, Ganguly said, “I am very excited to be part of this fun game, especially because it is about cricket. Makes me feel involved in the game. I think the players on My11Circle will also enjoy the game thoroughly. Waiting for lots of action and lots of fun with players from all over the country.”
My11Circle is the latest entrant in the rapidly expanding map of the domestic online fantasy gaming and currently focuses only on one sport – cricket. While the site was launched on January 25, the My11Circle app was officially available for download February 1 onwards.
Business Head of My11Circle Saroj Panigrahi said, “As a game of skill, My11Circle connects the cricket fan with a platform where they can exhibit their knowledge and expertise of the game. It is an opportunity for them to become a champion. Our campaign with Saurav Ganguly is true to our brand’s belief of not just celebrating the success of the matches but also about the fans, who together make cricket such an awesome game.”
The portal follows the standard convention of fantasy games that allow fans to choose players from both teams in a match to create a fantasy team of their own. Basis the performance of their selected team, fans win cash prizes. The portal currently offers a range of international and domestic cricket matches for users to choose from.
Avik Das Kanungo, Brand Head of Play Games24x7 also commented on Ganguly joining Team My11Circle. “We are very lucky to have Sourav [Ganguly] as part of the My11Circle family. This game is about cricketing knowledge, passion and decision making. The app is looking at scaling up their presence with Sourav Ganguly who took Indian cricket to new heights. Every player on our app is like a cricket captain and picks his / her own cricket team and everyone knows that Sourav is the best when it comes to this. I am confident that our players will also look forward to this exciting journey with Sourav on My11Circle.”