The Orange Africa Cup of Nations, SOUTH AFRICA 2013 tournament will kick-off tomorrow in Johannesburg, South Africa. Orange is once again the official partner of this major sporting event, the largest of its kind in Africa. In addition to its role as sponsor, the event is particularly important for Orange because six of the teams who will be competing come from countries where the Group operates its own network: Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tunisia and Morocco. Orange will be present on the ground in South African stadiums but will also offer a variety of digital services on mobile phones (for which it has rights to exclusive content) and on the web via its http://www.StarAfrica.com portal. This event has also provided the pretext for Orange to launch its first retail activity in South Africa through two websites.
Orange has been a dedicated supporter of football in countries in which the Group is present for many years. The Group currently sponsors national teams in Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Niger, the Central African Republic, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This commitment to African football took on a new dimension with the signature of the partnership between Orange and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2009, through which the Group became the principal sponsor of the six major CAF competitions until 2016.
Benefitting from the experience gained from previous editions of Orange AFCON, the Group is once again developing dedicated services and events so that its customers may fully enjoy their passion for football during the competition. This year Orange will offer the following services to football fans throughout Africa:
- Football Fan Club, the platform for African football fans
To provide customers who are passionate about football with the best possible experience of the competition, Orange has launched the Football Fan Club programme. This mobile platform, which is fully dedicated to football, offers the latest news, games and forums about African and European football, and in particular about the Orange AFCON, SOUTH AFRICA 2013 tournament. All information is available on mobiles for free via a USSD portal (USSD: a data swapping protocol compatible with nearly all handsets on a traditional GSM network.).
Several texting services are also offered, including “SMS Alert”, which sends alerts when a team scores and gives match results directly on one’s mobile, and “SMS Chat”, which enables supporters to discuss match highlights or take part in quizzes.
This program, which has already attracted over two million users, is now available in 14 countries where the Group operates.
- Special commercial offers
Orange’s aim is to help football fans across Africa to get the most out of the competition. It has therefore developed a series of specially-designed services that provide supporters with access to the latest information as well as various games and entertainment services. These include:
- a giant tombola – the Orange AFCON “madness” (or “folies” in French) – that provides an opportunity for fans to win goodies and even match tickets every week before the beginning of the competition;
- a WAP portal that provides access to all the latest news and information on the competition, as well as virtual-live videos of goals (with a slight 5-minute delay), match highlights and the best goals of each phase;
- smartphone users can also download the official Orange AFCON, SOUTH AFRICA 2013 mobile application, which is sponsored by Orange in association with the CAF. The application provides easy access to the official YouTube channel, which hosts numerous match videos, as well as to the official Twitter handle and other social media feeds.
- Events in Orange countries to get close to the competition
In many of the main cities in countries where the Group operates, Orange will set up “Orange villages” where the main matches will be broadcast on giant screens. A variety of fun activities will also be provided, including football-related video game competitions or photo contests, allowing supporters to meet and share their enthusiasm in a festive atmosphere.
- South Africa, the first Orange Horizons project
Orange has launched two websites to give the fans present for the event maximum support, thus officially inaugurating its retail operations in South Africa. This is the first project of Orange Horizons, the Group subsidiary that will seek business opportunities in countries outside Orange’s operator footprint. The projects will build on brand recognition and on the Group’s global reach.
The first website, http://store.orange.com/za is an e-commerce website that will market telecommunications-related devices and accessories. Later, it will also market commercial offers to people travelling between South Africa and countries where the Group is present.
The second site is a country website available at http://www.orange.com/za, which provides newsfeeds and exclusive content specifically tailored for a South African audience. Users connecting to the site will be able to enter a contest to win tickets to several matches, including the final.
Both websites will remain online after the Orange AFCON, SOUTH AFRICA 2013 competition, anchoring Orange’s long-term presence in South Africa.
- StarAfrica.com: live news on AFCON Orange, SOUTH AFRICA 2013
Orange’s entertainment and news portal in Africa, http://www.StarAfrica.com, has put together a special section of the website to allow fans across Africa to follow the competition live online. A team of sport journalists will relay all the events live from South Africa with in-depth news and video reports.
StarAfrica.com, which brings together over 700,000 visitors per month, will provide football fans with live-text commentary of all the matches as well as exclusive content. The Orange AFCON, SOUTH AFRICA 2013’s news feed will also be available on the @StarAfrica Twitter handle and on Facebook. In addition, supporters will be invited to take part in a competition by voting for the “trendiest” player of the tournament or to challenge their friends with “fan kit” games.