With 48 hours until our deadline, my team and I found a way to disrupt American sports television.

 
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A MINUTE TO SKIM IT

 

Background

Kabaddi is an ancient sport from India. In 2014, a professional league was launched and it quickly become the country's second most popular sport. Now, hundreds of millions of fans watch it every season.

Challenge

The U.S. is the most sports-saturated country in the world. How can India’s Pro Kabaddi League grow its viewership among American sports fans?

Learning

Sports fans love being able to sit and watch the game on television. But they're annoyed by the commercials that interrupt the action. They’ve begun to tune out the ads by having a phone or computer handy to look at during the game breaks.

Opportunity

Infiltrate the NFL. The average NFL game has 80 minutes of commercials during the broadcast. That’s enough air time for two full kabaddi matches.

Insight

Kabaddi doesn’t have to compete with the sports Americans love. It just has to win against the commercials they hate.

Strategy

Give fans what they want: uninterrupted sports.

Solution

Pro Kabaddi Break is a mobile app that plays Pro Kabaddi League matches during the commercial breaks of NFL games.

 
 

 

A CLOSER LOOK

 

 

What is Kabaddi?

 
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Since ancient times, the game of Kabaddi has been played all over India, from school yards to palace courtyards. In 2014, a professional league was launched and it blew up. The Pro Kabaddi League quickly became the country’s second most popular sport behind cricket, at times even overtaking cricket in viewership. Now, hundreds of millions of fans watch it every season.

When you watch Kabaddi, it looks like an extreme version of tagWatch our hype video to see what I mean.

 
 

Challenge

The U.S. is the most sports-saturated country in the world, how can the Pro Kabaddi League grow its viewership among American sports fans?

 
 

 
 

Research METHODS

  • We watched hours and hours of Pro Kabaddi.
  • We interviewed Nikunj Biyani, part owner of the PKL’s Bengal Warriors.
  • We studied sports like Ultimate Frisbee and Spikeball to see how they exploded in America.
  • We scoured social media to see what bothers American sports fans.

BRAND TRUTH

PKL matches are forty minutes of non-stop action. The players and the fans are always on the tips of their toes.

 
 

CONSUMER LEARNING

Sports fans love being able to sit and watch their team on television. It’s a timeless ritual. But they're annoyed by the commercials that interrupt the action.

Now people tune out the ads by having a phone or computer handy to look at during the game breaks.

In fact, 87% of people “second screen” while watching TV according to Accenture Consulting.

OPPORTUNITY

Infiltrate the NFL

The average NFL game has 80 minutes of commercials during the broadcast. That’s enough air time for two full kabaddi matches.

 
 

 
 

INSIGHT

Kabaddi doesn’t have to compete with the sports Americans love. It just has to win against the commercials they hate.

 
 

 
 

STRATEGY

Give fans what they want: uninterrupted sports.

 
 

 

Solution

 
 
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Pro Kabaddi Break is a mobile app that streams kabaddi matches during NFL commercial breaks.

Pre-recorded PKL matches sync with primetime NFL games and stream whenever there is a break in gameplay.

The app helps viewers follow along with the action by teaching them about different tactics and key moments during the match.

When the football game returns, the app pauses until the next break.

Watch a demonstration here.

 

 
 

CREATIVE

We know that if our football fans aren't at the stadium watching the game live, then they're either at home or their favorite sports bar. We created executions to reach them in both places.

SOCIAL

 

As fans pull down to refresh their Twitter feed they will see a message from Pro Kabaddi Break.

"Don't waste this timeout. Stop scrolling and watching endless sports. Download Pro Kabaddi Break and keep the action going during commercials."

As fans mindlessly swipe through Instagram stories, they will see our hype video with a call to action.   "Sports fans don't take timeouts. Swipe up to watch now."

As fans mindlessly swipe through Instagram stories, they will see our hype video with a call to action.

"Sports fans don't take timeouts. Swipe up to watch now."

In kabaddi, the raider has to repeat "kabaddi" over and over, because it's against the rules for him to breath. Are you up to the challenge? Take a deep breath and see if you can beat your friends on this Instagram filter.

In kabaddi, the raider has to repeat "kabaddi" over and over, because it's against the rules for him to breath. Are you up to the challenge? Take a deep breath and see if you can beat your friends on this Instagram filter.

 

OUT OF HOME

 
 

 
 

WHy THIS Works for the PKL

  • We're augmenting an existing consumer behavior. People are already on their phones while they watch.
  • This has legs beyond football season. The NBA and MLB both average around 45 minutes of commercials -- enough for a full kabaddi match.
 
 

 

MY FAVORiTE PART OF THIS PROJECT

...was the "a-ha! moment." With 48 hours left until the pitch, we had considered bringing kabaddi to the U.S. as a social sport, a collegiate intramural, and a Spring Break sensation. But none of them seemed big enough. We just wanted to give sport crazy Americans a side of sports to compliment their sports entree. That's when "Sports, Uninterrupted" hit us like a kabaddi kick to the chest.

 
 

A better commercial break brought to you by: 

Shifra Samuel - Art Director // Sarah Wallace - Art Director // Evan McGee - Brand Strategist

Tommy Carroll - Experience Designer // Josh Clayton - Copywriter // Nick Carr - Strategist