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Virat Kohli gets into overdrive with social media venture Sport Convo

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MUMBAI: Cricketers today are also proving to be smart businessmen, whether it’s the Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni or the cricket sensation Virat Kohli.

 

When he's not busy hitting boundaries and sixes on field, he’s busy eyeing business ventures that catch his fancy. Kohli, who invested in the social media start-up Sport Convo last year, is of the opinion that sport benefits greatly from social media, which is one of the reasons why he invested in the London-based company. What’s more, Sport Convo, which aims to bridge the gap between sports stars and fans, has got off to a good start.


The ICC World Cup 2015 and the on-going Indian Premier League (IPL) raked in numerous impressions on social media platforms  like Twitter and Facebook, where fans discussed various important moments that changed the course of the game. With social media proliferation, niche websites such as Social Convo, catering to specific fields are likely to crop up sooner rather than later.

 

The Indian cricketer, who has more than 30 million fans on social media platforms, will be using his fan base to promote the venture. Catering to a niche, the sport-specific social media - Sport Convo’s website promises exciting gifts for fans who register in the initial stages. Additionally, Kohli also tweeted that one lucky fan will receive a bat signed by him.



Kohli was quoted in media reports as saying, “Sport Convo was particularly attractive to me as my belief is sport benefits greatly from social media. It provides fans with the opportunity to showcase their opinion and passion for the game. It also allows me to communicate with my fans quickly and efficiently, which is important because as a professional cricketer, I am always on the go. Sport Convo stood out for me and delivers all of this and beyond and that’s why I opted to back this business venture.”

 

The website also has a 'Shop' link, signifying that Sport Convo will not just be limited to conversation but will also venture into the merchandising business. Currently the website only features one product – a 'Convo' branded cap, which can be purchased anytime soon. Kohli has been spotted wearing a similar cap on numerous occasions.

 

Apart from Kohli, the venture has also roped in England hard-hitting batsman Alex Hales, who would be endorsing the brand. Hales will be sporting the Sport Convo's logo on his bat.

 

Sports Convo is also looking at roping in more sports stars on board and the conversation will not be restricted to cricket.

So far the company, founded by Vishal Patel, Amrit Johal, Praveen Reddy and Jasneel Nagi, is a sports star driven social media platform, which will also have an e-store for fans to buy products promoted by their sports heroes.

 

Observers believe that the merchandising business which the site has flagged off might well explode into a lucrative one. However, they doubt whether enough fans will get on to the social media platform to chat and connect with each other because of the growth and growth of Facebook. Another social media platform in the US fanbase.com recently announced that it would shut because it had not managed to crack a business model to monetise on the 15 million sports lovers who were logging on every month.


A sports journo however begs to differ. "Fanbase.com was founded by two young entrepreneurs with investors. They did not have any sports person backing them online to drive conversation. SportConvo however has Virat with his feet firmly entrenched in the venture. And he is driving it through his social following, posting videos, tweets and doling out give aways. I can only see it being a winner all the way in every way."


It now remains to be seen if the briskly scoring Kohli succeeds to drive enough fans to Sports Convo and turn it into a resounding success.



 


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