SINGAPORE – Football fans will soon have another way to entertain themselves during a live match with Kickoff by Zuju, a new online and mobile game fronted by Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
The digital platform, where users can score points based on a whole range of micro-events – shot attempts, touches in penalty box, crosses, free kicks that happen in the selected real-time game – will be launched in time for the upcoming English Premier League season, which starts on Friday with champions Manchester City travelling to Burnley.
These points can be used to redeem prizes, such as a limited edition card collection released by Ronaldo.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, 38, will actively promote the app on his social media platforms. He helped in the development of the free-to-play app and said it “provides fans with an extraordinary opportunity to connect further with the game, their favourite teams, and players”.
The forward, who plays for Saudi Pro League club Al-Nassr, added: “As someone who is deeply passionate about football and giving back to the supporters who have been with me throughout my career, I take immense pride in being part of this platform that elevates the way fans can enjoy the game.”
Kickoff by Zuju’s parent company, ZujuGP, is co-founded by businessman Kiat Lim with his father, Singapore billionaire Peter Lim. Ronaldo’s image rights are owned and administered by the tycoon’s Mint Media Sports.
The younger Lim said of the app: “We are using technology intuitively to elevate the match experience in real time... Kickoff by Zuju was inspired by fans all over the world who have long demanded a more engaging and immersive second-screen experience… we are proud to be able to lead the way.”
Besides Premier League games, the app will also include other major European leagues such as La Liga and Serie A and competitions like the Champions League.
Mervyn Lau, the app’s chief executive, said: “At the heart of Kickoff by Zuju is the opportunity to co-create a digital football playground with the fans, players and teams with the goal of reimagining and reinventing a football fan experience that delivers a fresh dimension of entertainment that is interactive, engaging and empowering.
“(Fans) can interact with the live match, play on a second screen, progress through levels and ranks, and collect limited edition memorabilia in one unified ecosystem.
“This not only heightens the experience for the fans, but also enables both the leagues and clubs to better connect with their fan base, in the real world and virtually.”