The Soweto Derby is undoubtedly one of the most impassioned matches on the African continent and has remained so since the teams’ first clash in 1970. As the first Soweto Derby to take place ahead of the new season, this year’s Carling Label Cup is set to be highly contested. This fierce rivalry between two of the country’s largest football clubs, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, attracts massive support from football fans across the country – as they are presented with a unique opportunity to select their preferred starting line-ups.
To further enhance the fan experience of this much-awaited pre-season derby, Carling Label is affording fans the opportunity to go beyond selecting their starting line-up. The 2019 edition encourages fans to shape the future of football by choosing “game-changers”, from a selection of seven, that will impact the rules of the beautiful game. These “game-changers” will give fans more control of the match through technological advancements, format changes and more power to further evolve the game.
Over the past few years, technological developments have aided in the progression of world sport and football, mainly to promote fair play but also as added entertainment value for sports fans. Recent developments such as goal-line technology and VAR (Video Assistant Referee) have been at the forefront of development in football, however, technology has also made teams more accessible for fans through their websites and social media accounts – where fans are given unprecedented access to the teams and players. In addition to this, a large amount of information is also shared amongst fans and various football stakeholders through football discussions. Through platforms such as these, fans are exposed to quick and direct communication with all football stakeholders.
For the 2019 Carling Label Cup, three of the game-changers are linked to social media; as football fans will be able vote to select substitutions, the Man of the Match and the team captain on Twitter. In addition to these advancements, fans can vote for the match officials to wear a microphone on the field of play. All these game-changers are in an effort to evolve the game of football and bring football fans; as mouthpieces closer to the game.
“Technology is a huge part of modern football and as a brand that constantly seeks innovation, these four changes play a part in giving fans more power in shaping the future of football. The Carling Black Label Cup has been uniquely established for the fans, and with each edition we try to find progressive ways of enhancing the fan experience. Twitter is one of the fastest growing social media networks and there are plenty of football fans currently on Twitter; we wanted to involve that online community in the Carling Black Label Cup. So far this has worked out well, as the game-changer with the leading votes is Twitter-selected captain for match day. This is a clear indication of how active fans are on social media and how they believe the platform brings them closer to the game”, said Carling Black Label Cup brand director, Grant Pereira.