Category Archives: EPL

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English Premier League Launches Mobile App for Chinese Fans

Category : China , EPL , Media , Mobile , Platforms , Soccer

In an effort to increase global digital fan engagement, the English Premier League has launched an official mobile app exclusively in Mandarin. The app will host a Mandarin-language data hub that shows statistics from both individual players and clubs.
A press release from the EPL claims that it is the first European soccer league to create an app specifically designed for fans in China. Currently, the Premier League connects with its Chinese fans via popular China-based social media apps such as Weibo, WeChat, and Toutiao. The EPL has a combined following of nearly four million across those social media accounts.

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“We work closely with our broadcast partners and, together with our clubs, have regularly hosted events in China to bring live experiences to supporters,” said EPL managing director Richard Masters, in the press release. “This app provides another way to engage with the Premier League digitally and recognises the commitment of our fans with more and better localised content in Mandarin.”
Through the Premier League official Chinese app, fans can view the latest news and receive links to local media outlets broadcasting EPL matches. Users will also receive notifications regarding a club’s starting lineups and scoring updates.  
Digital media agency Red Lantern, which maintains offices in both London and Beijing, was responsible for managing the app’s content development. The app itself was built by Kingworld and is available for both iOS and Android devices.
“China is a mobile marketplace and this investment by the Premier League is another way to help drive value back to clubs and Chinese broadcasters,” said Red Lantern founder Lewis Hannam. “Rights-holders need to have a bespoke digital strategy for China and the Premier League is at the forefront of that.”
SportTechie Takeaway
By building an app specifically for China, the EPL is hoping to more effectively engage with soccer fans in the most populous country in the world. Taking a different approach, fellow European soccer organization Bayern Munich recently launched a website for users with poor internet connections. While the EPL’s app seeks to engage with a single, but large country, Bayern’s initiative could engage with a bigger audience across a greater area.


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Man U, Canon Medical Develop Performance Imaging in Partnership

Manchester United, the global soccer giant and perennial English Premier League contender, has renewed its partnership with Canon Medical Systems Europe. The company continues as the team’s official medical systems partner, and the sophisticated use of its imaging technology promises to offer the Red Devils a competitive advantage.
Canon, perhaps best known for its advanced photography equipment, acquired Toshiba Medical in 2016. Under terms of the initial partnership struck with Man U in 2013, Toshiba had installed advanced imaging technology—including CT, MRI, and ultrasound machines—at the club’s medical center at the Aon Training Complex. This new agreement includes an expansion of medical services, including more cardiac and general health screenings.
“During the past six years, our partnership has redefined the standard for medical imaging in elite sport,” said Dr. Steve McNally, Manchester United’s head of sports medicine and science, in a statement. “Daily access to state-of-the-art equipment and intelligent technologies has improved responsiveness to clinical presentations. Most importantly, we have developed a concept of ‘performance imaging’ over and above clinical diagnostics.
“By utilizing innovative techniques borne out of shared ideas and experiences from Canon Medical’s wider network of experts, we can now profile and monitor our players in ways we have never done before. This not only enhances athlete health and safety but also provides invaluable information to guide the athletic development process. As part of the partnership, we have also shared data that will assist in improving health services for the general public.”
SportTechie Takeaway
Manchester United’s 2018-19 payroll is said to be £137.3 million ($177.7 million), per Spotrac, so keeping players healthy is, of course, of great consequence. What’s unique here is McNally’s comment about “performance imaging.” The ability to improve physical development goes beyond medical assessments and taps a new frontier for this screening technology.


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EPL, EA Sports Launch ePL FIFA 19 Esports League

Electronic Arts and the English Premier League have partnered to form the ePremier League, an FIFA 19 esports tournament available to U.K.-based gamers. All 20 Premier League clubs will be represented in the tournament to give “players the chance to live their dream of winning a title for their favourite club,” according to an official press release.
Registration for the ePL starts Dec. 3 and opening online qualification matches kick off in January. The top 32 players (16 apiece from Xbox One and PS4) will then face off in the playoffs to determine club representatives for the final, which will be played at the Gfinity esports arena in London on Mar. 28-29. Final matches will take place over two legs in a group-stage format on both PlayStation and Xbox to determine an overall champion.

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The ePL Final will broadcast live on both Sky Sports and Premier League social media channels. Players who perform well in the ePremier League will also earn season-long points towards qualifying for the EA Sports FIFA 19 Global Series Playoffs
“The Premier League’s global reach and intensely passionate fanbase pushes EA SPORTS FIFA competition to unprecedented heights as we accelerate esports growth through traditional sports,” said Todd Sitrin, SVP and GM of the EA Competitive Gaming Division, in the press release. “Through the ePL, this partnership carves a critical path forward in expanding competition not only for players, but for the hundreds of millions watching Premier League games who now can support their club on the virtual and the traditional pitch.”  
SportTechie Takeaway
The ePL will be organized and hosted by Gfinity. (The U.K.-based esports company’s stock price jumped by more than 15 percent in the afternoon following the ePL announcement.) The EPL following the steps of MLS, who partnered with EA Sports last year to launch an eMLS FIFA 18 tournament. The ePL launch is more significant than that of the eMLS, though, because many EPL teams are major players on the global sports stage.


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