Which IPL Team is the Master in Engaging Fans?

The Indian Premier League (IPL), also known as the cricket festival of India, is the most popular cricket league globally. It’s the only cricket league that comes under the category of top sports leagues in the world along with some football leagues like – EPL, La Liga, etc.

 IPL has grown largely in the past 15 years and its popularity level increased year by year. The most important factor in the league’s popularity is fans’ engagement with that particular league. 

It’s very important for organizers of the league to maintain a high-quality level, which comes by including star international players. Since 2008 (IPL’s debut year), the IPL quality has remained on the top because every star cricketer across the globe wants to participate in this league. 

In IPL, the fan following of each team is different, the same as in any other sports league. In IPL, the fan following of teams changes after every 3-4 years which depends on the recent performance of the franchises. This is also because IPL is not too old like other popular leagues from a different sport. 

In the age of social media, it’s very easy to notice the fan following of any team or player. At the same time, fans also connect more with their favorite team/player. Let’s have a look at the most popular IPL franchises as per social media numbers. 

Spectators cheering in an IPL match for their teams 
Image Source: Onmanorama

On Facebook, fans like the page of their favorite team/player to make a connection with them. Currently, the most-liked IPL team on Facebook is Kolkata Knight Riders having 16 million fans followed by Mumbai Indians 13 million, and Chennai Super Kings 12 million.                                       

If we look at Instagram which is mostly used by the younger generation, here it’s a tough fight between the two most successful teams in the league, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Both have the same number of followers which is 10.6 million. After CSK and MI, Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is followed (9.5 million followers) by fans on Instagram.  

If we go to another social media platform which is Twitter, where fans and cricket pundits discuss the game regularly. Here, Thala Dhoni’s CSK is the most followed IPL franchise having 9.1 million followers followed by Mumbai Indians (7.9 million followers) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (6.3 million followers).

Another trending application, YouTube is also one of the most popular social media platforms where fans usually love to connect with people or teams. On YouTube, RCB has the greatest number of subscribers (3.2 million) out of all IPL teams. After RCB, Chennai’s (2.6 million) and Mumbai’s (2.4 million) subscribers are the most among IPL teams. 

Fan following of IPL teams on Social Media 
Image Source:

Hence, if we look at the overall picture then it shows that Chennai, Mumbai, and Bangalore are clearly dominating and engaging the maximum number of fans on social media. It’s a neck-to-neck fight between arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. They are dominating the game on the ground and outside the field as well. Rest other teams like – Punjab Kings, and Sunrisers Hyderabad have fewer fans as per social media numbers in comparison with CSK, MI, and RCB. 

Why are CSK, MI, and RCB more popular among fans?

The major reason for the dominance of CSK, MI, and RCB among fans is the presence of star Indian cricketers in their teams. We all know that in terms of brand value and fan following, Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli are the top cricketers in the world. Currently, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are the two top superstars of the Indian Cricket team. Hence, the inclusion of these players largely affects teams’ fan following. 

The other factor behind the huge fan following of these teams is their performance on the ground over the years.  Especially, if we look at CSK and MI, these two franchises have engaged the majority of their fans because of their excellent performance on the field. 

Image-3: CSK and MI fans watching the El Clasico of IPL   
Image Source: Times now

The Loyalty Factor

In a team game, loyalty is the most important factor which plays a huge role in the team’s success. IPL is a good example that clearly shows how important loyalty is in engaging fans. 

As we already concluded that CSK, MI, and RCB are the most followed IPL teams. This is not only because of players but also because of loyalty between team management, players, and fans. RCB is still looking for their maiden IPL title but their fans are loyal to their team. RCB’s management had shown confidence and loyalty towards their star players like – Kohli, Gayle, and ABD. This makes a strong bond between fans and the franchise. 

RCB fans cheering for their team
Image Source: deccanherald

What other teams are missing?

If we go into the history of IPL then we can see that teams like – Punjab Kings and Rajasthan Royals failed to make huge numbers of fans on their side because they don’t have any star Indian cricketers in their team for a long time. 

For Example: In 2008, Punjab had Yuvraj, and Delhi had Sehwag and Gambhir but after some time these teams dropped these players from their respective franchises. These teams also tried out many foreign captains which did not work to pull the fans toward them. In the starting years of IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was a very popular team because of Sourav Ganguly and their owner Shah Rukh Khan. Also, during Gautam Gambhir’s time (2011-2017) the fan following of this franchise was huge but it started decreasing after Gambhir’s exit.

Conclusion: Currently, there is no team close to CSK, MI, and RCB in fan following. Loyalty and backing star players are the major factors that act as a magnet to pull fans toward them. It’s also important to include players in the team who have good brand value. 


1.  Which team is popular, CSK or MI?

Both teams are very popular compared to other teams in the league. This is mainly because of their excellent performance and consistency over the years. On some social media platforms, MI is ahead of CSK whereas on Twitter and YouTube Chennai is having more followers than Mumbai. Overall, Dhoni’s CSK has an edge over Mumbai Indians in popularity.

2.  Is RCB the most famous and followed team in the IPL?

Yes, RCB is one of the most famous teams in the league but not the most followed franchise. Overall, Chennai and Mumbai have more followers than King Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore.

3.  Why are teams like – Rajasthan and Punjab not so popular in the IPL?

Yes, teams like – Rajasthan, Punjab, and Hyderabad are not so popular as compared to CSK, MI, and RCB. This is mainly because of the lack of star Indian cricketers in their team for a long time like – Dhoni for CSK, and Kohli for RCB. 

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