Indian social media, especially that section of it which deals with cricket-related information, is puzzled by something bizarre that happened today. All of a sudden Indian Premier League (IPL) side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) deleted the profile pictures of their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. Even more bizarrely, all their Instagram posts were deleted also.
This led to a lot of worry on the part of netizens, including top cricketers like Yuzvendra Chahal and other personalities such as Harsha Bhogle. Even fellow IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad expressed their concern through a tweet directed at RCB, asking if everything was OK. This team, which is notorious for underperforming, still has a large fan following.
With Indian captain and arguably the best batsman in the world, Virat Kohli, at the helm, the side will always have a lot of followers. Located in the cricket-mad city of Bengaluru, they have a big number of well-wishers also. Hence, it is not surprising that shockwaves went across the Indian cybersphere as soon as these strange changes took place.
These days, the biggest threat to websites and social media accounts is hacking. Even accounts of many celebrities and politicians have been hacked. So, many have speculated that the accounts of RCB were hacked also.
But there seems to be a much simpler reason for this sudden sequence of events. Earlier in the day, reports started circulating in the media that the name of the team is going to be changed. But unlike Delhi Daredevils turning into Delhi Capitals, it's not the title that is going to be changed but the name of the city. These reports suggest that Bangalore would be replaced with Bengaluru.
But there could be another reason for today's events. A new brand has signed a three-year partnership with the team. Muthoot Fincorp Ltd has become the leading sponsor of the team and their logo will be displayed on the jersey and other paraphernalia of the team. So, the reason behind this sudden disappearance of the profile pics and team pics on Instagram could be the unveiling of a completely new look for the side including a new jersey.
With the old sponsor's logo no longer required, the team is probably going to, soon, put up pictures of the new jerseys on their social media accounts' profile pics as well as their Instagram account. This could also be a very clever promotional strategy just ahead of the next season of IPL. By creating a flutter on social media, the team would generate more curiousity about itself and draw more attention to itself.
Considering that their performance in the last season was really disappointing, it is understandable that the PR handlers of the side want the team to start from scratch, at least in terms of its branding, and offer a new look, along with a new promise to their fans. This is probably the most likely explanation of what has happened.