Premiership rugby club Sale Sharks has become the first sports team in the world to sport interactive spors kits. The interactive rugby kit is also a world first for Rugby Union.
Developed by Manchester based cyber technology company VST Enterprises Ltd (VSTE), has added its ultra-secure VCode to the kits, allowing fans to to use their smartphones to scan the VCode using the innovative kit design and access exclusive content, player interviews, tickets and a whole range of commerical offers.
The club’s men’s team will wear a VCode ‘maze’ style logo positioned between the VCode name branding on the front of their shirts for the 2020/21 season.
Unlike traditional bar codes and QR codes, which can easily be cloned and targeted by hackers, VCode uses a secure closed loop system with end to end encryption and over 2.2 quintillion combination codes.
The VCode can be scanned in a 170 degree arc, whilst on moving objects and up to 100 metres away in some conditions. The technology also has wider applications and uses across rugby, football and many other sports for content delivery, player and fan health passports, secure access and anti counterfeiting of tickets.
VSTE has teamed up with technology disruptors Luna Venture Partners to become the technology partner to Sale Sharks in a new three year deal.
Louis-James Davis, CEO & Founder of Manchester based VSTE, explains: We’re excited to be working with Luna Venture Partners and Sale Sharks as a principal technology partner and for VCode to be playing an integral part of the club’s tech innovation as a unique front-of-shirt partner at this level of rugby. We believe this is the first time an interactive scanning technology has ever been used on a players shirt to give a more interactive and immersive experience between players and fans.”
The VCode on the front of each Sharks shirt will be an innovative way of connecting fans to the game, which is particularly important right now as fixtures continue to be played behind closed doors.
VSTE’s innovative technology is also being used to power the VHealthPassport, a secure digital health passport with contact tracing capability that is being used as part of a major campaign to get sports fans back into stadiums.
The pilot campaign called ‘Fans are back’ has been submitted to the Government and the DCMS Select Committee to help get rugby union and rugby league fans back into the stadiums. The VHealth Passport will also be used to help get Sharks supporters to return to Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium.
Davis adds: Through our technology and innovation, VCode is now being used in our secure VHealth Passport which can be used alongside PCR and rapid Covid testing and we will be carrying on our work to help bring Sharks fans and supporters of all sports back to live games as soon as possible.”
VST Enterprises are working with Isle Of Man based Luna Venture Partners to use the VCode technology for a number of innovations including content delivery of match highlights, player interviews, secure ticketing and VHealth passports to be used by the fans and players when they return to the AJ Bell Stadium.
The host of partnerships agreed by Sharks ahead of the new season signals the club’s intent on continuous growth despite the impact of coronavirus, says commercial director, Mark Cueto MBE.
“We’re delighted to welcome Luna Venture Partners and VCode® as our new front of shirt technology partner for the men’s team in what is, to our knowledge, a world-first for rugby union,” he says. “We are the first sports club in the world – and indeed the first Premiership Rugby club ever – to wear a VCode® on our shirts, and fans will be able to find new and exclusive content throughout the season by simply scanning the top – even when watching on TV.”
Cueto adds: “It’s brilliant to be working with a fast-growing technology company front and centre of our shirts, along with a series of dynamic partners that fit in perfectly with the fabric of our club. We’ll be heading into the 2020/21 season with a strong set of corporate partners who, despite the impact of COVID-19, have recognised the benefits of joining us to help build strong brand awareness and make new connections through the Sharks family.”
Isle Of Man based technology disruptors Luna Venture Partners chose the VCode technology to be front and centre of the Sale Sharks 2020/2021 kit because of their secure groundbreaking code scanning technology.
Luna Venture Partners spokesman Gerard Franklin says: “VCode was the natural code scanning technology of choice for Luna Venture Partners and this partnership with Sale Sharks. We were extremely impressed with the technology developed by VST Enterprises and their ‘Fans are back’ pilots to get fans back into stadiums”
Franklin concludes: “The high levels of encryption and security means this is much more secure than traditional QR codes. The ability to scan a VCode® from a players shirt and access exclusive and personalised content is a game changer in the sports marketing relationship between fans and their clubs. The capability of the technology means this can be used not just in rugby union, but also rugby league, football, golf and many other sports.”