Sponsorship is less about logos on hoardings and more about activation these days (although ANZ might disagree after its logo-fest at The Cloud for Valerie Adams' gold medal ceremony last week). In fact, some believe the old ratio of three dollars for every one spent on the sponsorship should now be upped to five. So in an effort to offer some added value to All Blacks fans, Adidas and Carat have unveiled Game Day, a Facebook application that lets them follow live commentary, comment on the game, track up-to-the-minute stats, access player and team profiles, weigh in on referee calls, vote for man of the match, and buy Adidas gear.
The concept was devised by Carat and developed in conjunction with digital agency Tailor to help leverage Adidas’ sponsorship of the All Blacks and broader support of rugby in New Zealand. And as well as engaging fans during matches, the app aims to be a(nother) hub for All Blacks fans between games, where they can dissect match statistics, view fixtures and results, view action replays and read match previews and news.
"It’s the first time all these elements of interaction have been brought together on one site for All Blacks fans," says marketing manager Nadia Scott. "Fans will be able to track the live game stats that only commentators and coaches are currently privy to. They’ll be able to make their own calls on contentious issues, and they’ll get to have their voice heard in the worldwide All Blacks community."
When TBWA\ launched an impressive interactive catalogue for Adidas' Super Rugby gear last year, we were surprised there was no e-commerce functionality. This app makes buying slightly easier, with direct links through to the All Blacks online store (although, in a world where one-click purchasing is becoming more common, it was surprising to see that it doesn't sell the boots shown beside each All Black on the player profile section. We couldn't even find them on the main website).
Carat's digital strategist Nivin Sewpershad said: "Our initial idea centred around creating the ‘perfect companion’ for rugby fans and this is what we’ve ultimately created in Game Day. As the principal sponsor, Adidas is on the field with the All Blacks during matches and are highly qualified to be the conduit for this level of inside information on the game. It enhances the rugby experience for hardcore fans and those who are just looking for a bit of extra game knowledge."
Guest commentators on Game Day include All Black Ali Williams, former All Black Andrew Blowers and broadcaster Nathan Rarere. And the next instalment is this weekend when the All Blacks take on Argentina.
More functionality will be rolled out in future seasons, including a smartphone app and additional enhancements.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvOegwF125IElsewhere in All Black land, Adidas has also just released a clip starring Dan Carter and Israel Dagg showcasing its uniform creation website www.miteam.adidas.co.nz. And while the All Blacks aren't particularly well-renowned for their acting talent, there's some fairly entertaining banter between the pair throughout.
And fellow sponsor Telecom has made Andrew Hore's dream come true by offering him a slot on his very own, entertainingly awkward 'chat show'.