05 Nov 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

England Rugby sponsor O2 has launched a rugby union Skill for Alexa-enabled devices as part of its activation around the upcoming Quilter internationals.

The brand has teamed up with playing legend Jonny Wilkinson to create the ‘Wear the Rose with O2’ Skill for Alexa, which will feature exclusive content, including the Rugby World Cup winner’s thoughts on the England squad, pre-match predictions and a post-match review.

Users will be able to hear the latest news from inside the England camp and access the England Rugby Podcast: O2 Inside Line, with host Vernon Kay.

On saying “Alexa: Open Wear the Rose”, fans will also be offered the chance to explore Priority offers which include England Rugby shirts.

‘Wear the Rose with O2’ is thought to be the first rugby-related Skill to be launched on Alexa – Amazon’s voice service, which is accessed through Amazon Echo.

Skills work in a similar way to a smartphone application. They are built by third-party developers in order to expand Alexa’s functionality, allowing it to speak to more devices.

The launch of the ‘Wear the Rose with O2’ Skill follows research revealing that one in ten households in Britain now has a digital home assistant. By 2022, the figure is expected to rise to 48%.

Commenting on the initiative, Gareth Griffiths, O2 head of sponsorship, said: “We are always looking for new, exciting and innovative ways to get fans behind England Rugby.

“The growth and increasing popularity of voice assistant technology will have a huge impact across all areas of sport so we’re delighted to be working with Jonny, bringing fans even more exclusive Wear the Rose content.”

O2 plans to trial the Skill during the four upcoming Quilter Internationals with a view to developing it further ahead of the 2019 Six Nations and next summer’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.