Time For The Big Toss: This Cricket App Gamifies IPL Experience, Rewards Sports Fans

Time For The Big
Toss: This Cricket App Gamifies IPL Experience, Rewards Sports Fans
Now that the Pepsi Indian Premier League 2014 is finally here and the first four matches have been sold out, according to organisers, diehard cricket fans must be missing the skills and thrills that go hand in hand with this Twenty20 cricket tournament. Unless you are spending the entire IPL Season 7 in the UAE, cheering for your favourite team and cricketers, here is another way to live life ball by ball and stay engaged even better than before. Keeping in mind the cricket frenzy in India, Bangalore-based tech start-up Cooolio Online has introduced The Big Toss app for cricket lovers, which was initially launched in June 2013 and only catered to the iOS platform. However, an Android version of the app was launched at the end of October 2013. The Big Toss now offers a whole bunch of exciting features, including a thrilling prediction game that will keep your adrenaline flowing.

How it works
So what all you get from this mobile cricket companion? Of course, there will be live scores and updates, latest news, highlights and analyses throughout the 45 days and 60 matches of IPL 7. The app will also send you notifications when your favourite teams are playing and there is also a personalised stats section – your own little scorecard to share. Users can enter the Locker Room for lively discussions over each and every game, reliving those close finishes, exciting knocks, googlies and controversies. The app has been heavily integrated with social networks (they call themselves a social sports platform) and tweets with hashtags appear on the app feeds. And the read section acts like a cricket news aggregator. Interestingly, there will be a Web version of The Big Toss this time that will allow you to engage with the social sports platform from your PC or laptop.

The Prediction Game
But what we love about The Big Toss is the strong gamification element, the points you can earn from the ‘live’ game and the rewards you can win in real time for your cricketing ‘dare.’ Here, you can answer ‘live’ questions for every match you follow and earn points for correct predictions. One can also compete with friends by making guesses on a variety of situations in a cricket match and scoring points if his guess is right. Moreover, you can strategise your game play by choosing how much stake/runs you would like to place on each question. Sounds a bit like cricket betting? Never mind, you only earn reward points here and no money is involved.

Users can redeem their ‘Karma’ or reward points for power play like Free Hit, Doubler and Tripler that help boost your score. For instance, a Free Hit ensures that you won’t lose any point even if you get your prediction wrong. A Doubler will enable you to win twice your stake if you answer correctly while a Tripler allows you to win thrice as much as your original stake. The idea is to keep your accuracy level up and score as many runs as you can to top the leader board. If you can do that, you can unlock trophies, earn the bragging rights and get ‘The Guru’ or ‘Mr. Cricket’ title. In addition, you will win unique merchandise, memorabilia, clothing and other items.

Traction & business
So how popular is The Big Toss? According to the start-up, more than 21,000 people have downloaded The Big Toss app till date. But with the new version of the app in place, the company is planning some exciting marketing campaigns for the first time this IPL and expects a boatload of new users. The company also claims that an average user spends close to 6-7 minutes on the app and spends multiple sessions on each game Last we checked the iTunes Store, we found that the app requires iOS 5.1 or later versions, and is optimised for iPhone 5. The app rating stood at 4.3 on Google Play Store while download numbers were ranging between 5,000 and 10,000 on Google Play. But that is not surprising as the Android app has been launched just a few months ago.

“IPL 7 is going to be a promising avenue for the app,” Big Toss CEO Gappan Annamalai said when asked about the kind of business the company expects during the current IPL season. “The IPL is already the largest league after soccer and cricketers today are among the highest paid sportsmen in the world. So people are bound to follow this game.”

According to him, more than 150 million consumed cricket content online during IPL 6. “Over 46% of sports fans use their smartphones to access sports content and more than 83% of sports fans will check sports updates on mobile while watching a game on TV. The Big Toss app is built keeping the consumer in mind and it addresses all their needs. And we hope to do really well as more cricket fans and advertisers come on board,” concluded Annamalai.