The Vodacom Bulls are leading the charge in the digital evolution of South African sport with the launch of the team’s ground-breaking new App, which has been described as an “unprecedented achievement” and which puts the Loftus Versfeld team in a class of its own in world sport.

The new Vodacom Bulls App went live on 9 July on iOS and Android.

The App is a key component of the Vodacom Bulls’ strategy to build their digital brand and position the franchise at the forefront of the digital growth of professional sport that has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The App was developed in partnership with Vodacom and the globally respected American software company YinzCam, which has developed Apps for major NBA and NFL franchises as well as some of the biggest football teams in La Liga and the English Premier League.

“In terms of world sport, what makes this App so unique is that it was launched in an unprecedented time and containing features that are keeping fans engaged when there is no live rugby. That has never been done before. The Vodacom Bulls have launched a connected digital asset in an unprecedented time in global sports history. And that’s something that puts them and their fans very much ahead of the game,” said Priya Narasimhan, the founder of YinzCam.

“The strength of the history and content around the Vodacom Bulls as well as the unique passion of its fan base has made this possible. For us as a company, this was also our first App in Africa. I grew up in Zambia, so this was a very personal project for me. I really wanted to see this happen, and the Vodacom Bulls have made that possible.”

The App includes the traditional information outlets of news, fixtures, logs, results and statistics. But where the Vodacom Bulls App truly distinguishes itself from anything else in the South African sports team market is the exclusive content available for fans, led by a regular “No Holds Barred” video update with coach Jake White as well as “Game Changer” videos with leading players. The Vodacom Bulls made the strategic decision to release certain content exclusively on the App and not via their other media channels.

The App also caters to the rise of eSports with several games and weekly prizes to be won. And there has even been an art contest hosted on the App as yet another creative way of engaging fans at a time of no live rugby.

The App represents a major step in the Vodacom Bulls’ strategy to grow its digital footprint and further commercialise this with the offering of purchases of tickets, merchandise and – when fans are allowed to return to stadiums – in-seat ordering at Loftus Versfeld.

The general theme of the App reflects the intensity of the game of rugby, and the design and graphics as well as the games and weekly competitions were all developed intentionally with the energy of the game in mind. The similar energy and passion of the Vodacom Bulls fans is what Vodacom sought to build on with an App that took the #BullsFamily into the digital realm.

“What we wanted was an entire digital eco-system where Vodacom Bulls fans could remain engaged with their favourite team beyond just game day, and have a home where they can follow their passion and be rewarded,” said Xolisa Mapatwana, Product Owner of Digital Services for Sports at Vodacom.

“The App ties in with Vodacom’s platform strategy whereby we have developed a true digital home for the #BullsFamily where they can get their news, exclusive behind-the-scenes content, play games and get rewarded with amazing weekly prizes. Digital is where our new sports fan is now sitting, and we are meeting them with an interface they regularly use. People use banking Apps and various telecommunications Apps on a daily basis, and it was only natural that we follow this from a sporting perspective.”

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