AIG & Opta Offer $85,000 in Prizes in “AIG Rugby Innovation Challenge” Apps Contest

Starting today, software developers who want to help change the way fans around the world experience rugby can submit their Opta-data fueled apps to the AIG Rugby Innovation App Challenge at The software competition challenges developers to harness rugby data and get it into the hands of fans via useful, engaging apps; and runs through October 9, 2013.

This fall, a panel of judges will evaluate the submissions and award prizes totaling $85,000, including $20,000 in cash, access to Opta’s live international data feeds for two years (valued at $30,000), Air New Zealand flights and accommodations to see an All Blacks match in New Zealand, prominent online exposure, consulting meetings with Opta Sports, and signed New Zealand All Blacks and USA Rugby merchandise.

Entries will be judged based on the quality of the idea, how well the app integrates AIG Opta Rugby Data, and the potential impact on rugby enthusiasts. Serving as judges are Mark Cuban, entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner; Brett Gosper, CEO, IRB; Nigel Melville, CEO, USA Rugby; Simon Drabble, Director, adidas miCoach Business Unit; Ashley Hirst, Head of Science EMEA, AIG; Angus McNab, Head of Pro Rugby and Sponsorship, Opta Sports; Jayne Bussman-Wise, Digital Director of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center; and New Zealand All Blacks players.

The sport of rugby has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down. As participation spreads into non-traditional areas and across demographics, new generations are playing and watching the sport, and emerging rugby nations are dominating the pitch. Rugby is everywhere – but fans can’t be! This is why Opta is collaborating with AIG, a leading global insurance company, New Zealand Rugby and USA Rugby to launch the AIG Rugby Innovation Challenge.

For the first time in rugby’s history, AIG is making Opta’s granular rugby data – including stadium location feeds, team and player performance statistics, match statistics, and a host of other rich data feeds – available to application developers free of charge. Participants will have access to all of the New Zealand All Blacks match fixtures from 2012 via the AIG Opta Rugby Dataset, as well as selected USA Rugby match fixtures, which will be available with every single on-the-ball action categorised, and logged with an x/y coordinate attributed to where it took place on the pitch. Additionally, participants will have access to New Zealand All Blacks and USA Rugby images and video footage to use in their apps and submission videos.

Angus McNab, Opta’s Head of Pro Rugby and Sponsorship, said of the challenge, “Opta is delighted to work with AIG on such a unique, ground-breaking sponsorship activation. This challenge goes beyond supporting a single team or country – it is an opportunity to unify fans in a way that has never been done before, and shows a real commitment to innovation in sport and technology – something we at Opta are very passionate about as well.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity to show how we can really enrich the rugby experience for fans who we know have a real thirst for information on all aspects of the game,” said Nick Brown, General Manager, Public Affairs for New Zealand Rugby. “Opta produces a huge range of fascinating data from every moment of every top game, so we’re confident this competition will unlock many fun and exciting new ways to meet fans’ passion for their favourite game. We also thank AIG for providing another opportunity to help us reach more fans in more places as we work together to grow the game.”

Daniel Glantz, Global Head of Sponsorship, AIG, said, “We hope that with this wealth of information, participants are inspired to present the sport of rugby in new and interactive ways, while also sharing their passion. We’re committed to growing the game, and by bringing an informative, mobile app to fans around the world, we’re getting closer to that goal“.

McNab added, “AIG has demonstrated their commitment to promote creativity and support those who seek to be bold and innovative. We, and the global rugby community as a whole, owe AIG a great deal of gratitude for making this opportunity possible.”

Brandon Kessler, CEO of ChallengePost, a leading software competitions platform, said "We're excited to power what we believe is the first ever sports-related online software competition. We look forward to helping two passionate communities — software makers and rugby fans — come together to help the sport in new ways."

The AIG Rugby Innovation Challenge is open to individuals, teams, and organizations of up to 50 people. Larger organizations can also enter for the chance to get recognition awards, but those entries will not be eligible for cash prizes.

Developers must submit either a working app or a link to a Web app, along with screenshots and a video demonstrating the working software.

More details, challenge rules, and registration are available here.


About Opta:
Opta is the world's leading sports data company. They collect, package, analyse and distribute more live data, in more detail, than anyone else. The level of detail Opta provides allows for more innovative broadcast coverage, more engaging online and print reporting and more intelligent professional analysis. This high definition data is collected and analysed live by Opta and is databased and supplied within seconds of the action happening on the pitch. This means it can be used to create an ongoing narrative as the drama unfolds.

As the live data goes into the Opta databases, it adds to the most comprehensive archive of sports data on the planet. Sports fans across the world can be confident in Opta data. Players and teams are compared using the same global standard, and it is this passion for consistency that has ensured that Opta has become the byword for credibility in the world of sports data.

Opta is the global leader in rugby performance data and statistics. Providing data for over 1000 fixtures each year, Opta covers all major rugby competitions across the globe. This market leading position is reflected in their official partnerships in rugby with the New Zealand Rugby Union, Premiership Rugby, the British and Irish Lions, ERC, FFR, RFU, SRU, IRFU, RFL and many other teams, federations and governing bodies across the globe.

Additional information about Opta can be found at | Twitter: @optasuit / @optajonny

About ChallengePost:
ChallengePost brings software makers and organizations together for online challenges and in-person hackathons that build awareness, solve problems, and spur innovation. For more information, visit