After being the first Indian motorcycle manufacturer to enter a team on the MotoGP circuit, Mahindra has hit social media to increase fans’ knowledge as well as bring in new fans for the sport.
For a sport which doesn't have the kind of interest cricket generates, the team has amassed more than 1.5 million 'Likes' on Facebook, thereby catching up with numbers of IPL teams like Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils.
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO, Mahindra Racing, said, "We were surprised with the number of fans we attracted on Facebook. It's not only about the 'Likes' that we generated (it's not too difficult to only show numbers), but the number of fans who post stuff on the Facebook page. It's been a phenomenal tool for us. We run a lot of initiatives that tell people what the MotoGP and Mahindra Racing is. We have trivia posted to our page to increase the knowledge as well. But it's largely left to the organisers to promote the sport. They've been extremely supportive to the broadcasters in India and that's certainly helped with the popularity of the sport."
While the team has other marketing efforts like the odd print ad in newspapers, digital is the main medium it uses to interact with its fans. Choonia claims that Motorcycle racing generates interesting content in terms of images and videos and that's what Mahindra Racing looks to showcase on its Facebook page.
On the importance of social media and the nature of fans it has attracted, Choonia said, "It's extremely important for us since it's the only two-way conversation we can have with the fan. We get members to interact with the team and riders (Miguel Oliveira, Arthur Sissis for MotoGP and Albert Arenas and Stefano Manzi for CEV). Close to 86 per cent of our fans are men. Our TG is a reflection of how the two-wheeler market is in India and around the world with an exception of a few European markets like Italy and Spain, where women are also extremely interested in 'biking'. On our Facebook page, most of the posts from the women come towards wishing the team and drivers luck before the races. We also had a contest running last year through which we had two female fans sent to Malaysia to be the 'Umbrella Girls' on the grid."
Mahindra Racing's digital duties are managed by an in-house team with support from Hungama Digital.