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South African rugby powers into the Marvel universe

South African rugby is entering a whole new universe in 2019 as SA Rugby, SuperSport, Vodacom and Marvel team up to bring Super Heroes to life and create an all-conquering, planet-shifting, villain-busting “Superpowered” Vodacom Super Rugby competition.

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Some of Marvel’s most iconic Super Heroes will join forces with South Africa’s most powerful rugby stars to turn every one of the South African derbies in the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby season into an action-packed adventure in and outside the stadiums. 

In a ground-breaking collaboration between SA Rugby, SuperSport, Vodacom and Marvel, each of the South African Vodacom Super Rugby teams will be assigned a Marvel Super Hero as their look for the home derbies next season.

The Vodacom Bulls kit will be emblazoned with the colours of Captain America, the Emirates Lions will channel their inner-Spider-Man, the Cell C Sharks’ kit will be inspired by Black Panther and the DHL Stormers will be wearing Thor’s colours. The kit designs will be revealed at a later stage.

“Marvel Super Heroes are among the most loved and recognisable characters in the world, very much like local Vodacom Super Rugby players and clubs,” said Luke Roberts, Retail Director for The Walt Disney Company Africa.

“Whether it’s Spider-Man’s genius and agility, Thor’s strength and endurance, Captain America’s honour and strategy or Black Panther’s speed and stamina, we are thrilled to collaborate with clubs in this year’s South African Conference in Vodacom Super Rugby, aligning these character attributes with our own iconic teams.”

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said this is one of the most exciting developments to the local Vodacom Super Rugby scene in many years.

“Vodacom Super Rugby has always been about entertainment and providing supporters with something new, and in 2019 we will definitely achieve that with this exciting endeavour with Marvel,” said Roux.

“The global rugby landscape is changing and teams across all continents are trying new things to further raise the interest of fans. We envisage reaching new audiences and gaining new supporters for our franchises and the game as a whole in South Africa.”

Gideon Khobane, SuperSport CEO, said: “These are great times in sport with innovation pivotal to success, which is why SuperSport is thrilled to support the Super Heroes initiative.”

The true impact of next season will be felt when the real-life super heroes take over the story off the pitch.

With great power comes great responsibility, and the heroes of South African rugby are ready to unleash this as they use their power for good and tackle cancer in a partnership with the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation.

Michelle van Eyden, Vodacom’s Executive Head of Sponsorship, echoed the excitement for the forthcoming Vodacom Super Rugby season and highlighted the importance of giving back.

“Besides the innovation and excitement we will be seeing during Vodacom Super Rugby in 2019, Vodacom is also extremely proud to be associating itself with CHOC,” said Van Eyden.

“Every Super Rugby season, Vodacom partners with an organisation that is in need of support, and with the Marvel partnership, we feel there is a perfect fit between between the rugby super heroes we’ll see doing battle every weekend on the field and the little super heroes of CHOC who fight a far larger battle every day.”

For every tackle made by a South African player during the 2019 Vodacom Super Rugby competition, Vodacom and SuperSport will each donate R50 to CHOC through the #TacklingCancer campaign, with the goal of raising R1 million by the end of the season.

And if heroes give us hope, this will be a season in which every fan can also be a hero as they join forces to keep the hope alive for those who need it most.

Vodacom Super Rugby fans can also expect in-stadium entertainment and activations that are going to inject rugby into a new “superpowered” era.

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Jaguar drives dictionary definition

Jaguar is calling for the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries to update their online definition of the word ‘car’

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Jaguar is spearheading a campaign for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Oxford Dictionaries (OxfordDictionaries.com) to change their official online definitions of the word ‘car’.

The I-PACE, Jaguar’s all-electric performance SUV, is the 2019 World Car of the Year and European Car of the Year. However, strictly speaking, the zero-emission vehicle isn’t defined as a car.

The OED, the principal historical dictionary of the English language, defines a ‘car’ in its online dictionary as: ‘a road vehicle powered by a motor (usually an internal combustion engine) designed to carry a driver and a small number of passengers, and usually having two front and two rear wheels, esp. for private, commercial, or leisure use’.

Whereas the current definition of a ‘car’ on Oxford Dictionaries.com, a collection of dictionary websites produced by Oxford University Press (OUP), the publishing house of the University of Oxford, is: ‘A road vehicle, typically with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine and able to carry a small number of people.’

To remedy the situation, Jaguar has submitted a formal application to the OED and OxfordDictionaries.com to have the definitions updated to include additional powertrains, including electric vehicles (EV).

David Browne, head of Jaguar Land Rover’s naming committee, said: “A lot of time and thought is put into the name of any new vehicle or technology to ensure it is consumer friendly, so it’s surprising to see that the definition of the car is a little outdated. We are therefore inviting the Oxford English Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionaries to update its online classification to reflect the shift from traditional internal combustion engines (ICE) towards more sustainable powertrains.”

The Oxford English Dictionary is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It is an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words – past and present – from across the English-speaking world.

Jaguar unveiled the I-PACE, its first all-electric vehicle, last year to deliver sustainable sports car performance, next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technology and five-seat SUV practicality.

Featuring a state-of-the-art 90kWh lithium-ion battery, two Jaguar-designed motors and a bespoke aluminium structure, the I-PACE is capable of 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds and a range of up to 470km (WLTP).

While both the Oxford English Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries review the application, Jaguar is encouraging people to get behind the campaign by asking how the word ‘car’ should be defined. Contact Jaguar on TwitterFacebook and Instagram using #RedefineTheCar with your thoughts.

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How Internet blocks visually impaired

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Picture: Amelie-Benoist / Getty Images

A pervasive “digital divide” inhibits blind people from accessing the Internet, according to a study conducted by Nucleus Research for Deque Systems, an accessibility software company specialising in digital equality. This results in visits to websites being abandoned, further resulting in a missed market opportunity for the websites in question.

The study, which conducted in-depth interviews with 73 U.S. adults who are blind or have severe visual impairments, revealed that two-thirds of the Internet transactions initiated by people with vision impairments end in abandonment because the websites they visit aren’t accessible enough. Ninety percent of those surveyed said they regularly call a site’s customer service to report inaccessibility and have no choice but to visit another, more accessible site to make the transaction.

The Nucleus study also scanned hundreds of websites in the e-commerce, news and information and government categories and found that 70 percent had certain “critical blockers” that rendered them inaccessible to visually impaired users.

“Besides the moral dilemma and legal risk, businesses with inaccessible websites are missing a huge revenue opportunity by ignoring an untapped market,” says Preety Kumar, CEO of Deque Systems. “Among internet retailers specifically, two-thirds of the top ten online retailers had serious accessibility issues, meaning they are leaving $6.9 billion in potential North American e-commerce revenues on the table.”

Web accessibility refers to the ability of people with disabilities to independently gather information, complete transactions, or communicate on the Internet. Most visually impaired Internet users rely on assistive technologies like screen readers or screen magnifiers to render sites perceivable and operable. However, these assistive technologies require that websites be built with accessibility in mind and optimized to interface with assistive technology, in order to convey information in an accurate and understandable manner.

Critical accessibility blockers can vary across industries. In e-commerce, problems include issues like missing form and button labels (thereby making forms or the “checkout” button invisible without context). Amazon, Best Buy and Target were found to be accessibility leaders in this space. Additionally, the study found:

  • Eight out of ten news sites had significant accessibility issues.
  • Seven out of ten blind persons reported being unable to access information and services through government websites, including Medicare’s site.
  • Fewer than one in three websites have clear contact information or instructions for blind persons to seek help if they encounter accessibility issues, meaning many have low levels of success in reporting and solving these problems.

“A focus on accessibility needs to be a core part of the website design and development process,” continues Kumar. “Considering accessibility as early as the conception phase, and proactively building and testing sites for accessibility as they move towards production, is significantly more effective than remediating it later, helping organizations save significant time and resources while avoiding unnecessary customer grievances.”

To download the report, visit: https://accessibility.deque.com/nucleus-accessibility-research-2019

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