Last month at Steenberg Wine Estate, the Absa Cape Epic Awards Dinner 2014 announced Tracker Business as joint winner of the Innovation Award. As the only eight-day mountain bike stage race classed as hors catégorie by the Union Cycliste Interacionale (UCI), the Absa Cape Epic draws massive international attention.
First-time event sponsor, Tracker Business cleverly used the opportunity to devise technology that would appeal to the riders, their families, followers, cycling enthusiasts, medical support, team managers, spectators and the general public.
The challenge for Tracker, leading South African intelligence and vehicle tracking company, was to find a way to demonstrate the company’s cutting-edge technology capability but also contextualize this prowess at what has become the world’s most televised mountain bike stage race. Tracker Business found a solution that demonstrated some of its key customer centric and personal safety benefits in a practical and easy to understand way.
Giving everyone a better handle on the riders
Around 600 rider teams were each fitted with specially developed lightweight tracking devices that delivered live rider information, such as speed and location. Tracker’s innovation provided a completely new perspective of the race – for the media, supporters and logistics.
For the riders themselves, the clever device that weighs just 79 grams meant that medical assistance was just the push of a button away because its features include an SOS assist button. When activated, an emergency response team is dispatched to the exact location of the rider in need, as well as the nearest hospital, technical support, sweep vehicle and shortest route to incident. The 200 EMS and logistics support vehicles were also live-tracked, offering race organisers a live view of the vehicles relative to the race route with real-time assist notification using a customised mapping interface.
Tracker Business also provided TV channel SuperSport with map interfaces for better broadcasting, and to the media centre to assist the media in knowing where to place their cameramen and photographers.
Jon Adams, Senior Commercial Officer of the Absa Cape Epic said “We were thrilled to have Tracker on board, bringing a level of event monitoring that took our quest for perfection with rider safety and enjoyment to the next level.”
Bronwynn Tippett, Chief Marketing Officer at Tracker said, “We are thrilled to be recognized for our innovation and showcasing our proprietary rider tracker solution in an event as well respected and challenging as this, was very exciting for us. Our partnership with The Absa Cape Epic offered the event organisers the ability to track logistics efforts, control situations more accurately and to maximise successful outcomes, making the race safer.”
Keeping it social
The live rider information triggered notifications at specific geo-fenced areas on the route, letting race organisers know when riders passed a specific point. Using a secure API, the Absa Cape Epic was able to tap in to Tracker’s live tracking to not only show the live tracking of any rider team anywhere along the route on their website (www.trackerrideepic.co.za), but also to allow the Cape Epic to post location and event updates to participants' Twitter and Facebook profiles.
Taking the thrill online
Tracker’s clever innovation also included an online game that was developed to be as easy and fun to play as some of the 8 bit classic games of old and enabled gamers to pit themselves against actual riders.
Integration of The Ride Epic Online Game 2014 and the live tracking platform meant that as a player passed some of the avatars in the game, he was passing real riders in the race. There was also a good dose of artificial intelligence features thrown in for geeks and gamers.
The game was live for a 2-week period that incorporated the timing of the eight-day mountain bike stage race. During this fortnight, the game was played a total of 45,168 times with the site receiving 15,296 unique visits. Incredibly, the average online visit lasted over 8 minutes.
By combining live rider tracking and the fun element of the game in one mobisite, Tracker was able to appeal to both the serious spectator and the gamer and at the same time illustrate its technological expertise. Ultimately, Tracker became the trusted source of information at the event, which aligns well with the brand as altruistic and trustworthy whether relating to vehicle security or personal safety.