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Technology Fuels Spirit of Sportsmanship at Rugby World Cup

Auckland – September 20, 2019 - As Kiwis prepare for the first streamed Rugby World Cup™, a global Mastercard study of sports fans reveals that we are feeling positive about the role technology is playing in how we experience sport, both at the stadium and at home.

Most New Zealanders (82%) believe technology is enhancing their experience of watching sport. Video replay emerged as a fan favorite, with 66% of New Zealand respondents saying it significantly improves sports viewing. Despite some grumblings about moving from free-to-air to streaming, nearly half (44%) of Kiwis believe that streaming is significant in improving their experience of watching sport.

Unsurprisingly, Kiwis come out top when it comes to watching live sport. New Zealand (38%) and Australia (22%) represent the largest populations watching matches live on television, tuning in at least twice a week.

“Technology is playing a significant role in how people work and socialize, so it comes as no surprise that it is also impacting how fans engage with sport. With Rugby World Cup 2019™ around the corner, it’s exciting to see fans using technology to make the most of the tournament,” said Ruth Riviere, country manager, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Mastercard.

Social media will also feature heavily in how Kiwis engage with Rugby World Cup 2019™. Over half of us (54%) will use social media to follow the score, 28% to tune into live stadium feeds and 27% for behind-the-scenes content.

One thing technology hasn’t changed is how geography sets the tone for how we express support. In Europe, French and Italians are united in their favorite motivational emoji, both loving the hand clap when tweeting about sport (22% and 23% respectively). New Zealanders preferred the thumbs up with 22% of us listing it as our emoji of choice when celebrating sport.

As the global partner for Rugby World Cup 2019™, Mastercard is embracing and utilizing cutting-edge technology to deliver a truly bespoke Player of the Match award for Rugby World Cup 2019™. The award hardware, inspired by the work of Professor Jun Mitani, will be completed live on the field with in-the-moment laser etching capturing highlights from the match. Monitoring fan activity on social media through a bespoke API – combined with commentary from the official worldfeed RWC 2019TM – Mastercard will select the top moments of each match to be immortalized on the trophy.

Fans can also be part of the action with Mastercard hosting its first Priceless Surprise Twitter thread this year. This will see a priceless chain of moments, capturing amazing experiences in unexpected places with unsuspecting people during the opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2019™. Kiwis can play a role in the experience by following Mastercard global ambassadors @DanCarter and @BryanHabana, @mastercard and #PricelessSurprise on Twitter.

“It’s exciting to see how technology is enabling Mastercard to offer players and fans real-time moments of passion, excitement and comradery, no matter where they are watching the game,” said Riviere.

© Scoop Media

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