The Vodacom Blue Bulls are a South African rugby union club founded in 1938. The Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria is their home ground. In July 2020, in close collaboration with Vodacom in South Africa, we proudly launched the Blue Bulls mobile app. This was a significant first for us, as it was our first app in the African continent. This one was personal for us, as our CEO, Priya Narasimhan, grew up in Zambia, and she really wanted to bring the best of YinzCam to fans in Africa.
We had the privilege of working with the fantastic team of Marco Lopes, Liam Dobell, Nicholaas Krüger and Xolisa Mapatwana to launch this first-of-its-kind mobile app experience for South African sport.
The app provides a 24/7/365 connection to the Blue Bulls, including:
- News, photo galleries, videos
- Statistics, including live box scores and the ladder
- Team and player statistics
- Multiple competitions, including the Currie Cup
- Head-to-head matchups of players at different positions
- Fixtures of home and away games
- Information about the Loftus Versfeld Stadium
- History of the the club
Focused app strategy
Vodacom and the Blue Bulls sought to bring a unique digital experience to Blue Bulls fans, and also to include multiple fan-engagement and commercialization opportunities in the app. We saw this first-hand as the club made a strategic decision to drive traffic to the app — content was released exclusively or early to the app and not on other channels. For example, the “Game Changer” videos featuring leading players were only available through the app. The club ran regular contests and offered prizes through the app.
What was remarkable was that the app was launched during the pandemic, and the club chose to include features to engage the couch fans at home. The Blue Bulls collaborated with us launching a new and different feature every month, keeping the app fresh and exciting for fans.
Here are just a few of those fan-engagement features.
- Card Match game. Fans can try to break their time records for matching cards in a digital version of the popular and well-known card-match game.
- “Best of” Battles. Fans can vote for their favorite players at different positions, in playoff-style qualifying rounds
- Face Paint AR filters. Fans can show their support for the club through unique club-themed face filters, using augmented reality.
- Kicking game. Fans can attempt to kick the rugby ball through the uprights, with wind speeds skewing the path of the ball, to add that extra level of difficulty.
- Art Contest. Fans can upload their Bulls-themed artwork to the app, for other fans to vote on.
Vodacom and the Blue Bulls continue to push the envelope on the mobile fan experience, and we can’t wait to see what we will do with this app in 2021.
We are grateful and thrilled to have launched this unique app, and to be a part of the #BullsFamily.