Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, Fox Sports partnered with digital consulting firm Omnigon to create a second screen experience called MatchTrax. Omnigon gave Lost Remote a demo of the product last Friday and it is evident that MatchTrax is a second screen experience that appeals to both die-hard soccer fans watching every game and to casual fans.
MatchTrax’s main features include live match commentary, real-time field views, a leaderboard and statistics, and ‘Hash Clash.’
MatchTrax’s ‘Match DNA Timeline’ grows as the game goes on and is a great way for fans unable to watch the game to follow along. It calls out all goals, yellow cards and red cards, and fans can clicks into the white dots, which interact with the commentary related to the games. If fans click on the goal from England, they will see the commentary and the interesting things that happened in the game so far.
The field view tells fans the average position of players throughout the game, which helps visualize a team’s time of possession. Within this view, ‘Goals & Shots’ is a visualization of how the plays developed, and the players involved, leading up to an eventual goal. This is another great feature for fans who, if they cannot watch the actual game, can at least see how the goal developed.
On the social front, ‘Hash Clash’ pits the two teams against each other based on the Twitter conversation taking place during the game. Italy may have beaten England on Saturday, 2-1, but England won the ‘Hash Clash’ 52% to 48%. It will be interesting to see whether losing teams generate more of the Twitter buzz throughout games.
Beginning in 2015, Fox Sports will have exclusive rights to the next four FIFA World Cups – with the men’s tournaments in 2018 and 2022 and the women’s tournaments in 2015 and 2019 – and developing great digital products like MatchTrax will benefit fans and it will bolster its investment in the sport.