Watching rugby these days, sports fans are likely to have more than just the remote in one hand and a cold beverage in the other. Making a regular appearance at match time are digital devices – laptops, smartphones, tablets…
This growing trend for “dual-screening” or “second-screening” has inspired adidas to build a cutting-edge Facebook site called adidas Game Day, where All Blacks fans can gather together virtually while they’re watching the match (or if they can’t get to a telly). It ran for the first time last Saturday night during the Bledisloe Cup test.
“adidas Game Day will provide serious All Blacks fans with an outlet for their dual-screening urges, on a Facebook app like no other,” says adidas Marketing Manager Nadia Scott. “It harnesses the power and reach of Facebook but it doesn’t look like your usual Facebook app. It’s really a conventional website within the Facebook framework, that capitalises on the site’s latest layout capabilities.”
adidas has developed the pioneering site in conjunction with Facebook. It has far more functionality than the standard Facebook pages for businesses, and a unique design custom-created for adidas. adidas Game Day has been developed by boutique Auckland web development company Tailor.
It will be the first home on the web in the world for rugby fans that will offer them the combination of:
• live commentary, including the views of All Blacks greats and other experts;
• a chance to discuss the game as it unfolds through live chat;
• up-to-the-minute game stats, equivalent to those provided to match commentators;
• All Blacks team profiles;
• player line ups for both the All Blacks and their competition, for each fixture;
• online voting on contentious decisions;
• a vote for the man of the match; and
• a link to buy official supporters gear.
The initial line-up of guest commentators is injured All Black Ali Williams, former All Black Andrew Blowers and rugby-mad broadcaster Nathan Rarere.
“adidas Game Day is an awesome place to get into the action,” says Ali Williams.
“If there’s one thing Kiwi rugby fans love, it’s having a good argument about an All Blacks game. It’s going to be a great new way to talk rugby, and I’m looking forward to hanging out there in the next few weeks. If I can’t get to the match, this will be the next best thing.” The app, at www.facebook.com/adidasrugby, will also be a hub for All Blacks fans between games, where they can dissect match stats, view fixtures and results, follow links to buy official All Blacks gear, and read and discuss match previews and news from the All Blacks.
In the launch phase, adidas Game Day will only work on computers and tablets viewed through the internet browser. More exciting pioneering functionality will be rolled out in future seasons, including a smartphone app. Details of these advances will be released closer to the time.
* Local stats for dual-screening aren’t available, but sports and entertainment consultancy Gemba New Zealand notes that during last year’s Rugby World Cup internet consumption of rugby union by New Zealanders increased almost four-fold.
Below are some screenshots from the app:
(Disclaimer: adidas Rugby is a client in my day job)