The heroes of the Rugby World Cup 2019 will have their star performances immortalized – with unique trophies that feature individual match highlights.
For the first time, the sporting tournament, which kicked off last Friday, is taking place in Asia. Therefore, worldwide partner Mastercard wanted to blend the heritage of the hosting country Japan with its love of cutting-edge technology by making changes to the Player of the Match trophies.
They have developed a computer program that monitors fan activity on social media throughout the game.
As activity online increases during dramatic moments, commentary from the official Rugby World Cup live feed will be etched onto the award with a state-of-the-art laser.
The completed trophy, featuring a sculptural origami design that is inspired by the work of Professor Jun Mitani, will be presented to the Player of the Match right after their star performance.
Players will be able to relive their sporting greatness moment with the first-of-its-kind award.
Mastercard developed the trophy in order to highlight how tech has transformed the sports.
It comes after a survey of sports fans by OnePoll found 64% of Brits agree that technology is enhancing sporting events.
Video replay came out as a fan favorite, with more than half (54%) of all global respondents saying it was improving sports significantly.
However, British and Irish fans have varying opinions in terms of tech.
Those in Ireland are big fans of video replay (60%), while nearly half (44%) of respondents in Britain voted for hawk-eye and video referring (41%).
A majority of fans also said that keeping up to date on their phones helps them feel more connected. Besides, one-third of the 13,000 fans that were surveyed keep up-to-date online via video streaming.
Rajamannar, from Mastercard, said that sports have been an important part of life, and using technology helps to enhance the experience for fans at the match, fans at home, and players is the way to build emotional and culturally-relevant connections.