The NRL showcases the ‘Mission Control Room’ ahead of the 2013 State of Origin Series via VML


VML-NRL-Mission-Control-1.jpgThe NRL’s partnership with VML has continued to push the digital game forward with their “Mission Control Room” for the 2013 State of Origin Series, making it one of the world’s biggest social media installations. Mission Control is a strategic play to track, engage, reward and amplify the conversation around Australia’s biggest sporting series.

VML-NRL-Mission-Control-2.jpgThe Pop-Up style command center known as “Mission Control” is manned by 20+ creative, strategy and social staff and backed by Facebook, Twitter, and both the NSW and QLD teams, delivering a unique platform for the most personalised fan engagement in Australian sport.

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.


Says Henry: “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.”


The social installation was powered from a high-tech control room at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium and Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, set-up specifically for each game and boasting its own private satellite internet connection and bank of ten 50-inch screens, aggregating and visualizing all the real-time social data from the game.


VML managing director Aden Hepburn noted that this is just the start of things to come:

“When we launched the first ‘Mission Control’ room for Gatorade in 2010, I’m not sure we really knew how it would evolve in the years to come. But 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.”


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


Along with covering  a conversation of well over a billion State of Origin hashtag impressions on Twitter alone, and numerous single, viral Facebook posts that reached over 600,000 unique people in Australia per post, during the game.


Nick Bowditch from Facebook Australia: “At Facebook, we were really excited to be part of the NRL’s Mission Control Room. It is one of the most impressive integrations of social platforms that I have seen.”


VML & The NRL will be running their live Mission Control Room again tonight for the 2013 State of Origin Series decider, and fans can join the conversation on Facebook & Twitter with the #Origin hashtag.