Posted by Openness Team

The world-renowned touring rugby team, the British & Irish Lions, wanted to do something it had never done in 125 years of international competition: find a way to take along 100 million fans when the team toured to play the best teams in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Lions, named Team of the Year at the 2013 BBC Sports Personality Awards, are a unique occurrence in modern sport. The best of the best coming together only once every four years and the stakes for this particular tournament were high. The Lions had not won a Tour in 16 years.

Fan engagement with the event would no doubt be a huge morale-booster for the team, helping to spur them to victory. But most fans, of course, could not be in Hong Kong and Australia to cheer on their favorite team.

The degree of fan participation suggested an app, but not just any app. It would have to be an app that could deliver a compelling user experience on whatever device a fan might have, with easy navigation through a variety of data sources, including video, player statistics, social media, and more.

To learn more about what Microsoft and the Lions delivered for the team and fans, check out The Fire Hose blog.