In anticipation of the Super Rugby hype that will begin to captivate the nation from 15 February, APN has rebranded its sports tipping and fantasy portal as the Dream Team. In addition to a new logo, the updated version will also feature a fresh design, in-game experiences, enhanced functionality and greater integration on the Herald website.
“We’ve redesigned it to make it easier for subscribers to choose their fantasy teams and participate in the league,” says Sarah Kenny, the general manager of brand and comms at APN NZ.
In 2011, APN purchased the sports tipping site Jimungo from Affinity ID and thereby took over the 300,000 registered users that participated in the various games on offer.
“Initially it was just a sports tipping site, which required punters to guess by how many points teams would a match. But last year, we introduced a fantasy league for Super Rugby and this is really the aspect we hope to develop with the upgrade,” says Kenny.
To further enhance the experience for participants, APN has also initiated a partnership with online sports stat engine Opta.
“Statistics from Opta will feature on the Dream Team page to help fantasy players make decisions about which players to select for the games.”
Kenny says the company will only receive third-party exposure, and that the agreement should not be construed as a sponsorship.
The revamped offering has however managed to attract a sponsor in KFC, and the fast food chain’s logo is already visible in various sections on the Dream Team page as well as on a banner ad for the grand prize of a trip to South Africa.
“This is more than just a simple trip. The winner will get plane tickets, a VIP pass to the game between South Africa and the All Blacks, and will also be given the chance to meet all the players,” says Kenny.
This extravagant prize is clearly an attempt by APN to encourage new subscribers to join the fantasy league. Since purchasing Jimungo from Affinity, APN’s subscriber database has not increased substantially, but Kenny doesn’t think it has plateaued yet.
“We have ambitious goals for Dream Team and believe that the increased engagement that comes with a fantasy league will encourage more Kiwis to get involved … Our main goal at this stage is to grow the brand within the Herald, but we also see the possibility that it could one day stand independently.”