In Tunisia, app relays armchair soccer fans’ cheers into the stadium

We’ve already seen France’s Fliike enable physical stores to demonstrate the extent of their online following with a real-time Facebook like counter. Now the Mobilizing the 12th Man campaign has shown how stay-at-home soccer fans can make their support felt in the stadium, with an app that taps the crowds to raise the volume of pitch-side speakers.

Developed by marketing agency Memac Ogilvy, the idea came about after the Tunisian government banned crowds from turning up to stadiums to support their teams in the wake of the Arab Spring. However, the difference those fans can make to matches has earned them the nickname of the ’12th man’. Towards the end of the 2012-2013 season, Tunisian team C.S Hammam-Lif needed a win in order to remain in the country’s First League. To harness the support of their fans, an app was developed that enabled fans watching on television to contribute to cheering, clapping and anthem-singing inside the stadium. Speakers were located on the side of the pitch, whose volume depended on the number of fans using the app. Some 93,100 fans downloaded the app, and C.C Hammam-Lif secured their position in the league with a 1-0 win. The video below shows how the campaign worked:

The Mobilizing the 12th Man app provides an example of how the power of absent fans can be made real at live events. Are there other occasions where this kind of crowdsourced support could be harnessed to create physical returns?


Spotted by: Raymond Neo

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