Rugby League Commercial (RLC) and IMG have announced a partnership with Voono to create a free-to-play fantasy Super League game.
The game is scheduled to go live in February ahead of the 2024/25 season, which aims to grow the sport’s fan base and attract a younger audience.
This partnership signifies the RLC’s and IMG’s dedication to growing the sport, which IMG has also been helping to do in the women’s game. The company was chosen by Premiership Women’s Rugby to support the league’s development of its new digital and content channels strategy in 2023.
Founded in 2022, Voono specialises in producing fantasy games. Players of the new Rugby League game will embody the role of a Super League coach, combining rich, live statistical fantasy gameplay, which will feature officially licensed player cards linked to real-world performances.
Voono has promised a “comprehensive and immersive journey” for fans. The gaming company initiated a closed beta phase that was available to fans, and is currently working closely with clubs to ensure the game resonates with different fanbases.
Rhodri Jones, Managing Director of Rugby League Commercial, stated: “Two of the key priorities of our long-term strategic partnership with IMG are to transform Rugby League’s digital presence, and to increase our appeal to young fans.
“We believe this exclusive partnership with Voono is a major step forward in both those areas. It’s a unique blend of fantasy gaming and sports card collecting, tailored specifically for the Rugby League community.”
As well as attract new fans to the sport, the RLC wants to keep existing supporters engaged throughout the year. With over 65 live stats available per game, fans can delve deeper than ever before into player performances.
Players will be able to create public and private leagues like its football counterpart ‘Fantasy Premier League’, which has become a staple of most English Premier League fans’ seasons.
Looking ahead, Voono aims to add extra features like substitutes and club specific rewards.
Daniel Chirwa, Account Director, Digital at IMG, commented: “Delighting our fans and delivering a better rugby league experience are two promises we set out to deliver through our digital transformation project.
“With gaming a focus pillar for digital innovation within the game, Voono’s excellent product and forward-thinking team have matched our ambitions. They have proven to be an ideal strategic partner to enhance our gaming proposition across the sport.”