An invitation on its Twitter page by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) - one of the eight teams taking part in the Indian Premier League (India’s biggest cricket franchise league) caught the attention of one Anil Sharma. To drive greater fan engagement on social media, the past champions of the league asked their fans to cheer the team with a tweet, which, if well received, would present its author a chance to win a VIP match ticket.

As a diehard fan of the game and the franchise, Hyderabad resident Anil was game for the opportunity. On his Twitter profile, he describes himself as a technology geek, but does not mention his passion for the sport. A final-year student at Jagriti Degree and PG College, Osmania University, Sharma has several friends who he shares this passion with. These friends came in handy for the 21-year-old.

As he tweeted, his post saw several comments, shares and likes- from friends and others alike. As the engagement increased, Sharma received a direct message from SRH that he had been identified as one of the winners. He was all set to watch the game on Sunday, April 22.

Sharma was lucky because while the match featured his favourite team SRH, he would also get to see MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in action. The match went down to the wire with SRH failing to hit a six off the last ball to win. It may not have ended the way Sharma wanted, but he enjoyed the nerve-wracking finish.

For Leander Corrie, who too had won a ticket during the contest, the close match was the highlight of the day.

“It was a nail-biting finish and I was disappointed that SRH lost. But thanks to Coca-Cola, I was able to watch the match at the stadium,” the pharma company intern said on phone from Hyderabad.

Another SRH fan, too, noticed on their Twitter page that Sprite was running the contest. Hardik Kedia was so excited after getting the VIP ticket that he forgot to take a picture of himself during the match!

Watching the game from the North Pavilion at the Hospitality Lounge, with food and beverages included as part of the prize, was a dream come true for him. “They (the hospitality team) were very warm and polite. I was half an hour late to arrive at the stadium but they took care of everything,” Kedia said.

Kedia, a final year BBA student at the St. Joseph’s College in Hyderabad, closely tracks the SRH team and what its members are up to. He hopes to pursue an MBA degree after graduation. As a fan, he loves the idea of the best players from different countries around the world playing for one franchise. 

Several fans like Kedia, Sharma and Leander have similarly won match tickets because they took to Twitter to cheer their team with interesting slogans. Since IPL is all about ‘Best vs Best,’ the best tweets are also enjoying some of the best matches and hospitality.

For those who managed to win, nothing could be cooler than such a hot opportunity.