When the Tunisian government began cracking down on unruly soccer fans after a series of riots in 2011, they made the decision to begin playing games in empty stadiums — and two years later, all professional soccer matches in the country are still played behind closed doors (with the exception of a handful of African Champions League matches). The situation is similar in nearby Egypt, where deadly rumbles have forced authorities to play some big soccer matches in empty stadiums as well.
So, then, this: The 12th Man, a smartphone app in which fans can make all the noise they want in the stadium, even though they’re at home at the time watching on TV.
The idea: 40 or so giant speakers placed throughout the stadium, and fans at home tapping buttons which operate commands such as “Shout”, “Applause”, “Singing” and yes, even “Horns”. That last one of course is the dreaded vuvuzela: the vile Devil Trumpet that can now assault players even when no one is in the stands.
The more fans press on the icons, the louder the sound in the stadium — and fans can even choose the side of the stadium they want their noise to come from.
It’s available in only two stadiums in Tunisia so far, and is the brainchild of the Tunis-based Hammam-Lif club along with the Memac Ogilvy advertising agency. The campaign won 5 Silver and 2 Bronze Lions at Cannes. The case video, via ViralBlog:
A revolutionary step forward in my opinion: this is the future of pro athletics. Concession sales will suffer, sure …
… but in the long run, doesn’t everyone else win? No parking costs, no crowd hassles, no police dogs nosing your private parts at the entrance gate. No paying a 500 percent markup for tickets on StubHub. And no this guy.
And no vuvuzela.