Both Facebook and Twitter have learned that there’s nothing like a major live event to draw huge engagement from longtime users and to attract new ones to their platforms.

Now, in a sign of how the hunt for both has gone global, Facebook and Twitter have launched major campaigns around the upcoming 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Show of hands in the U.S.: How many of you even knew such an event existed? That’s what I thought.

No matter. Facebook and Twitter are well aware that starting on Feb. 14 the World Cup will be hosted in Australia and New Zealand over the next several weeks. There will be 14 countries participating, and to no one’s surprise, the U.S. is not among them.

However, one of the biggest social media prizes is: India.

According to Facebook: “Of the over 1.3 billion people who are on Facebook, more than 100 million people are interested in cricket*. Forty-five percent of people interested in cricket on Facebook are from India.”

Facebook is calling itself “The Biggest Cricket Stadium In The World” and offering the following suggestions for marketers to reach the cricket-loving masses:

  • Target people in countries such as India with cricket-related messages
  • Use Facebook’s video ads to develop cricket-themed messages
  • Use Facebook’s demographics to target audiences based on age, gender, and interests such as cricket.

Twitter announced that it is taking an approach similar to the one it used with great success during the World Cup last summer in Brazil. That includes creating a specific cricket-themed timeline. Not only will the timeline provide specific updates on games with images and commentary, it will make it easier for users to add things like country flag icons and hashtags to create more engagement with other fans watching the matches.

It will be an interesting test for both companies, given the lack of participation by a U.S. team and an almost total lack of interest in or knowledge of cricket in their home market. But if they can capture new fans, particularly in India, and provide big value for advertisers, it will go a long way toward expanding their global reach.