Vodafone has launched a new British & Irish Lions app as it counts down to the 2021 Tour of South Africa.
The brand says the app will allow fans to virtually ‘become a Lion’, offering a range of interactive features, including a fully-animated virtual avatar tool developed using the same technology seen in games such as Fortnite and FIFA.
The ‘Digital Lions’ feature, which Vodafone says is a first in rugby, will enable fans to interact both with Lions players past and present and will feature a ‘XV’ selector, allowing users to share their own preferred starting line-ups, as well as follow games in an in-app match centre.
The avatars created by fans will be the first to wear the new Lions jersey, which was revealed earlier this week, and fans will be able to share their avatars across social media and messaging platforms.
Max Taylor, Commercial Director, Vodafone UK said: “We want to give fans the most immersive Lions experience possible. Our new app will be the ultimate in digital self-expression. A fan’s ‘Digital Lion’ will become their companion throughout the build up to the Tour and the Tour itself and will get them closer to the action and other fans than ever before.
“The app has everything you would expect and more, from the latest news, fixtures, tickets, competitions and merchandise, through to player stats, fan polls and quizzes. Fans can choose their ‘dream team’ and share it on social, they can take part in in-app games and, once the Tour kicks off, our ambition is that it acts as an augmented reality portal so they can enjoy a first-person view of the action in South Africa through the eyes of their avatar. They’ll also be able to keep up to date with our live ‘Match Centre’ so they never miss a moment. “
Ben Calveley, Managing Director, British & Irish Lions, added: “We have designed the official British & Irish Lions app so it will unite the pride like never before. As the countdown to next year’s Tour continues, we are excited to be launching the official Lions app in conjunction with our partners Vodafone.
“This highly innovative app, which features cutting-edge fan engagement functionality such as the ‘Digital Lion’ and ‘XV Selector’, will further complement our digital channels, allowing fans to interact with the Lions in new and exciting ways.
“We have already seen record engagement numbers across our social media channels this year, and we look forward to continuing to deliver best-in-class digital content to Lions supporters all over the world.”