Season 7 of the Indian Super League (ISL) marked the return of top-tier competitive sports in India. Given the compelling challenges facing fan engagement this season, ISL decided to get the fans to the stadium virtually with an array of digital innovations. This was led by the creative conceptualization of the real-time Fan Wall installation at the 3 stadiums which brought fans closer to the action.
A remarkable 137.4K fans have registered themselves to be part of the Fan Wall in the first 75 games of season seven, highlighting the rapid strides made by the sport across demographics. ISL, the nation's premier football league, has captured the imagination of tech-savvy India in an unprecedented fashion with 1.7 million fans virtually tuning-in, confirming their presence digitally on matchday posts.
In terms of mid-season cumulative engagement, the league is 14.1% ahead of the 2019-20 season (34.7m vs 30.4m). Video views have seen an increase of 42.8% compared to last season. Clubs' cumulative engagements have increased on both Facebook and Instagram by 105.1% and 75.5% respectively. In terms of video views, there has been an increase by 3.3x (Facebook) and 1.8x (Instagram).
ISL has ushered in a new era, with 11 teams on board this season onwards - Mohun Bagan's merger with ATK to form a new entity and cross-town rivals SC East Bengal joining the league has appealed to fans in West Bengal in massive numbers. Since the merger, the cumulative engagement of ATKMB this season has seen an increase of 2.9x compared to what it was for ATK last season. However, loyal supporters from Kerala edge out their counterparts in West Bengal with Kerala Blasters FC having 3.1x more engagement (29.1 million) than ATKMB and SCEB combined (7 million).
Meanwhile, current league leaders Mumbai City FC’s resurgence on the field in their new colours post their club's majority stake acquisition by City Football Group has also led to an increase in their average engagement by 64% compared to the 2019-20 season.