SA Rugby and Dell Technologies have roped in virtual reality (VR) to enhance the fan experience at all international games played in South Africa until 24 September.
SA Rugby says digital transformation is one of its key priorities. The VR Experience will allow them to engage more closely with fans through customised experiences, broadening the reach of content and involving sponsors more authentically.
With the launch of SA Rugby’s new digital fan club, BokSquad, CEO Jurie Roux includes digital initiatives to reach a younger and more digital-savvy audience amongst his priorities off the field. The VR activation allows fans are able to test their rugby skills in a stadium environment and prove that they are “Bok”.
Often the first adopters of cutting-edge technologies, young sports fans typically have the widest access to new platforms. A survey conducted by Deloitte showed that VR front-row seats would increase the likelihood of watching a game for 54% of fans.
SA Rugby works with Dell to help it achieve its digital transformation goals and to support the Springboks with digital technologies and communications infrastructure.
“We place enormous value on Dell’s ongoing support and guidance to help us achieve our digital transformation goals,” says Roux.
“As South Africans, we can be successful on the world stage and give our nation a unifying source of hope by combining our hard work, adaptability and use of the latest technologies.”
Digital technologies are also changing everything from helping fans better experience games, informing training and coaching methods, rating the performance of athletes, helping referees make better decisions, enhancing athletes’ public profiles and even how competitive events are adjudicated.
It’s also allowing the industry – and sponsors – to better understand what excites fans and how they can tailor content to be more effective, as well as what engagement models work best for individual audiences.
“SA Rugby has recognised that it needs to accelerate its digital transformation efforts to realise the opportunities that technology offers and is working to embed digital throughout the organisation,” says Doug Woolley, General Manager for Dell Technologies in South Africa.
Dell has also provided SA Rugby with a highly flexible data platform built with PowerEdge servers and Latitude laptops, providing coaches and players with anywhere access to video snippets and data insights to help improve collaboration, training and strategy.
These insights – along with innovations in data analytics and modern security technologies – have made it easier for the Springbok team to monitor player and team performance.