Most South Asian immigrants – from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh – grow up playing cricket and are avid fans of the game. And when they come to Canada, they bring their love of the game with them. Twenty20 (better known as T20) Cricket was first introduced in 2003 and is played with 20 bowling overs to each side. This reduced form of the game has since taken the sport by storm and has its own World Cup Tournament, the last one held in India between March 8 and April 3, 2016.
How is cricket played?
Cricket is a game played between two teams of 11 members each. The batting team has 2 batsmen at the 22-yard “pitch”. The batsman on strike faces the bowler while rest of the bowling side fields the ground. The bowler throws the ball with a straight arm from one end of the pitch in an attempt to dismiss the batsman by hitting the wicket at the other end, causing the batsman to hit the ball into the air for a fielder to catch, among other actions that can lead to dismissal. The batsman attempts to defend the wicket with the bat and to score runs by striking the ball to the field boundary, or far enough from the fielders to allow the batsman to run to the other end of the pitch before the ball can be returned.
The ICC Cricket T20 World Cup is one of the most watched cricket tournaments across the globe, passionately followed by South Asian Canadians as well. According to TV audience measurement (TAM) data, viewership of the 2014 T-20 World Cup on Star Sports alone reached 133 million, with overall global viewership estimated over 600 million, including the large South Asian community across Canada. For the Championship Final that year between Sri Lanka and India, ESPN2 – together with ESPN and ESPN3, logged an average minute audience of 302,248 across TV and digital (Source: Nielsen, Adobe Analytics).
South Asian Canadians have significant spending power with 54% having household incomes of more than $60K compared to 46% of mainstream Canadians. Cricket presents a unique opportunity to reach South Asians of all origins – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh – on a single platform.
If South Asian is one of your target segments, let’s sit down and discuss how you can effectively connect with this community.