New Zealand Rugby and Vodafone have announced that Vodafone will become an official sponsor of the All Blacks in an agreement that will create all-new digital experiences for rugby fans inside and outside the stadium.
Vodafone will be the 'connectivity partner' to New Zealand Rugby and will power a new All Blacks app. The app will pack more features and viewing options including a “cutting-edge stadium experience” for All Blacks Test matches.
The live stadium experience will be launched during the upcoming DHL New Zealand Lions Series. This new technology puts control in the hands of fans in the stadium who, through their devices, will be able to replay tries, view highlights and watch alternative live footage from multiple different camera angles.
The partnership will extend the fan experience outside the stadium with Vodafone providing high speed broadband in DHL NZ Lions Series fan zones and supporting a New Zealand rugby road-trip throughout the Series.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew says the agreement puts rugby at the forefront of the integration of technology and sport in New Zealand.
“We want to offer rugby fans the ultimate experience,” he says.
“This partnership with Vodafone means local rugby fans will have access to in-stadium technology that is at the forefront of what is available around the world to watch the game. It is an incredibly exciting development.”
“This is a great partnership for New Zealand Rugby in terms of where we want to take the game. It is important to us that we move with the times and offer a world leading fan experience, and in this day and age that means integrating innovative technology into our fan offering,” Tew continues.
“Vodafone will be helping us to connect rugby fans with the game in new ways as well leveraging Vodafone’s experience in digital transformation to grow the game of rugby.”
Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners agrees.
“We are proud to be partnering with the All Blacks on a range of world leading digital fan engagement and connectivity solutions," he says.
"Our sponsorship is about two of the things that are most important to kiwis: rugby and staying connected, in ways that weren’t imaginable even five years ago.
“If you look at the major sporting franchises around the world, they are all focusing on how they engage with their player communities, enhance the experience for fans and provide new viewing experiences for more people,” Stanners continues.
The Vodafone Rugby Road-trip kicks off on 31 May, in support of rugby in New Zealand and the DHL NZ Lions Series. Accompanied by video reporters from All Blacks TV and the UK, the nationwide road trip will see two recognisable campervans following the Lions Series, using social media to share their unique kiwi experiences on the road.
Vodafone is also connecting fans at fanzones in Wellington and Auckland for rugby lovers who can’t make it to the Lions Series matches, providing WIFI, high speed broadband and interactive experiences to add to the standard live game coverage.
The new free All Blacks app powered by Vodafone can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store.