Hot on the start of the 2014 Super Rugby season, New Media Publishing, in conjunction with Vodacom, have developed and launched an app that no real rugby fan can do without.
The Vodacom Super Rugby Stats app – available for free for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices – is conceived and developed under the guidance of former SA Sports Illustrated editor Ami Kapilevich and well-known rugby personality Andrew “Tank” Lanning. Both are members of the New Media Publishing family.
For a fan who is interested in knowing how many tackles Pieter Labuschagne made or how many tries Morné Steyn converted, this app will be the source of all that information, and more.
“Essentially, this is an app for the hardcore rugby fan. Somebody who is serious about knowing more than the soundbytes and snippets you get from time-pressed general sporting media fraternity,” says Lanning, chief digital evangelist at New Media Publishing.
“This app extends the game beyond the 80 minute play period. It gives people the kind of information they’ve always wanted to truly be able to analyse the game on social media or over a beer with their mates.”
Kapilevich explains that having fielded all sorts of questions from the public during his editorship at SA Sports Illustrated, he wanted to make sure that even the most arcane statistics about a player and his performance could be found on the app.
“In short, this app gives you the kind of information franchises pay consultants massive amounts of money to dig up, all for free,” says Kapilevich.
In keeping with global trends for televised live events to play out in online conversations within moments of happening in real life, this app boasts the first such opportunity for South African rugby fans. Using data from Opta, the world’s leading sports data company, the Vodacom Super Rugby Player Stats app will reflect this action within seconds of the action happening on the field. This will allow for an ongoing narrative to develop as the drama unfolds.
When asked to give an elevator pitch description of the app, Lanning describes it as “A legendary rugby resource that will make you look really, really smart in front of your mates as you discuss the game round the braai.”
Explaining their involvement with the app, the General Manager of New Media Publishing Andrew Nunneley, says, “We are passionate about delivering engaging content in the way consumers want it. This app does exactly that and it signals our entry into the exciting world of specialised sports content. We were delighted that our long-standing relationship with Vodacom meant we were able to bring the perfect brand with great rugby cred on board as the title sponsor of this innovative, content-lead product.”
“But more importantly,” Nunneley concludes, “we think rugby fans will be thrilled and, without letting the cat out the bag, there’s more to come!”