EY is taking rugby fan engagement to the next level with an exclusive app developed to give them an enhanced interactive digital experience during the upcoming British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand in June.
The app combines EY’s capabilities in digital and analytics to deliver in-depth performance information gathered from individual players club and international level matches from the past two seasons. The analytics capability was delivered by EYC3 Business Solutions, which studied data from thousands of games and combined these results with expertise provided by international rugby legends Sir Ian McGeechan and Tim Horan, to develop a unique feature called “My Lions.” This gives rugby fans access to behind-the-scenes player information to help them play as team selectors and coaches to deliver their favoured team.
A key aspect of the app is the new “My Lions” fantasy rugby gamification feature, which was launched following The British & Irish Lions squad announcement on 19th April. As the Tour approaches, fans will be able to select their Lions starting XV, including captain and primary kicker, to take on the experts’ teams in a series of fantasy rugby games.
The app analytics are designed to randomly assign weather conditions, ground selection and referees, while fans will be able to select their “boost player,” preferred tactics and substitution start time to achieve a win, lose or draw result. Users can share their results on social media or compare with the experts’ teams’ and their friends performances through league tables featured in the app.
Before each of the three Test matches against the All Blacks, fans will also be able to submit and share their preferred starting XV, before the team is announced by Head Coach Warren Gatland so they can compare directly.
Norman Lonergan, EY Global Vice Chair – Advisory Services, says:
This initiative leverages EY data analytics experience in business and commercial applications extended to vitally impact the interactive engagement between the Lions team, their fans and sponsors.
In addition to standard features such as access to Lions news, Lions TV, Lions imagery and competitions, the official app gives fans an interactive and stimulating sports experience by leveraging advanced analytics.
Results for the fantasy rugby games are based on the EY rugby model, which assesses more than 150 features related to a players position and their recent performance, as well as more than 30 statistically significant team factors that influence high-performing teams. In addition to connecting with real-time news and updates on their chosen team, users can closely monitor and stay updated on their favorite players’ performance and get experts’ reviews and analysis.
All Lions sponsors can leverage the “private leagues” app feature and generate their own access- controlled leagues for their own competitions or engagement activities with their clients. As a result, the sponsor will be able to better engage with fans through direct interaction and increase brand awareness and recognition through association with high-performing teams.
Charlie McEwen, British & Irish Lions Chief Operating Officer, says:
The App really brings the Tour to life for rugby fans around the globe. This latest release includes some exciting new features such as the ability to test your selection skills against top rugby experts. In addition, the App will continue to bring you all the latest news, imagery and videos to make this the ultimate digital experience of any Lions Tour to date.
Lonergan says: “Through this development, EY is helping the Lions transform their fan engagement into a truly digital brand experience. Working in collaboration with the Lions, EY helps refine their digital strategy and vision while shaping the future fan and commercial partner experience, so that the team is seen as a leader in this field as well as on the playing field.”
Deputy Editor & Social Media Specialist