NRL and VML's Mission Control Room gears up for tonight's State of Origin

NRL and VML's Mission Control Room gears up for tonight's State of Origin
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The NRL and VML’s pop-up social media Mission Control Room is preparing to engage with thousands of fans during tonight’s decider State of Origin match. 

Backed by Facebook, Twitter and both the NSW and QLD teams, the social media team work in near-real time to create personalised fan engagement. The social installation is powered from a high-tech control room at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, set-up specifically for each game.

The social media “command center” is one of the world’s biggest being manned by more than 20 creative, strategy and social staff; fit with 50-inch screens aggregating and visualising all the real-time social data from the game; and its own private satellite internet connection.

The NRL’s digital marketing manager, Matt Henry says it was a huge undertaking to deliver one of the world’s biggest and most successful real-time social tracking and response rooms.

“Mission Control has been an exciting leap forward on the NRL’s Digital Innovation path. For the first time, we’ve really been able to focus on amplifying the State of Origin conversation in new and entertaining ways. To engage with and reward our fans and influencers for their social participation during the game and to do so on a scale that rivals the best sporting codes around the world is really energizing.”

VML managing director Aden Hepburn said the Mission Control room has quickly developed since is 2010 creation for Gatorade. “What we’ve been able to achieve in partnering with the NRL here in Australia is an amazing feat, we are literally carving a whole new path towards the future of Australian digital sport,” Hepburn said.

By the time the dust has settled on tonight’s game, the NRL’s Mission Control Room will have driven a social media fan increase of over 100,000 people across NSW, QLD and NRL accounts.

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