Mobile app to give Lions branding edge against the All Blacks

When the British & Irish Lions rugby team faces off against the All Blacks in New Zealand in June fans of the team will have access to a host of information about players and matches thanks to a mobile app developed by EY (Ernst t& Young).

Norman Lonergan, EY global vice chair – advisory services, said the app would help position the team as a leader in digital and brand strategies.

“[It will] help the Lions transform their fan engagement into a truly digital brand experience … [and help] 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.” Lonergan said.

According to EY the app combines its 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.

EY says the analytics capability was developed 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, it says, “gives rugby fans access to behind-the-scenes player information to help them play as team selectors and coaches to deliver their favoured team.”

The app includes a ‘My Lions’ fantasy rugby gamification feature. EY explains: “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.

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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 favourite players' performance and get experts' reviews and analysis.

Computerworld asked EY if it had any plans to develop similar functionality of the All Blacks, but we had not received a response at press time.

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