New iPundit app mixes social World Cup match prediction with brilliant footie banter

Posted on May 31 2010 - 2:16pm by Richard Sharp

iPundit, the latest app on the virtual shelves of Apples iTunes store, lets everyone from football-obsessed blokes and ladettes to fair-weather armchair fans and those who fancy Frank Lampard in tight shorts plot England’s route to the final of this summer’s World Cup.
iPundit, put together by a development team at Crieff, Scotland-based Creative Change with a visual concept from Soho’s Brilliant Path for client Thomson Sport, is part social match predictor, part footie banter network and part interactive wall-chart.
iPundit allows anyone, from scarf-waving “real” fans to England’s army of fair-weather armchair supporters, to predict the scores in each match of the tournament.  It lets you share your predictions with the mates in a social networking “mini league” of mates who have also downloaded the app.
It will appeal to anyone who belies that England will win two-one against the USA on the 12th, clinch a five-niller thriller against Algeria on the 18th and force a nail-biting one-all draw against Slovenia on the 23rd to reach the knock-out stages.
As the World Cup – which runs from 11th June until 11th July – progresses, iPundit users are awarded points for guessing the correct score, with seven points for guessing the correct scoreline, five for the right winning margin and four for getting the winner. The scores are pushed to the app after each match and your personal mini-league of mates updated.
At the heart of the app is Mr Pundit, a cheeky and controversial fan with opinions on everything and who just loves a good (and sometimes not so good) joke.
Creative Change used Appcelerator’s Titanium to develop iPundit and allow for rapid porting to other platforms, such as Android, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. Thomson Sport, part of the TUI Travel group of companies, plans to extend the app to cover other football tournaments and leagues as well as other sports in the future.
The Creative Change team used an Agile development methodology to bring the iPundit app from concept to fruition in just a few short weeks.
Lead developer on the project was Paul Burrowes, a Dundee United and Liverpool-supporting Scot, best known for being the brains behind Satski, an app for GPS devices that tracked you on the slopes and allowed you to create maps of your journey. Burrowes has also developed the popular ScantoPDF app for Android and iPhone.
iPundit has been designed for use in the pub, on the train, in a nail bar,  in the office when the boss isn’t looking and even on the terraces in South Africa. It uses Apple’s push notification to tell users when a new bit of banter has arrived and integrates with both Facebook and Twitter, handling messaging between up to 100,000 users at a time.
Burrowes believes that the most exciting element of the app is the personal mini league you run on your own device, made up of the scores of all your mates who are part of your social network.
He says: “You link up with friends, they invite their friends and you both appear on each others’ phones. You choose the people you want to play against.”
Creative consultancy Brilliant Path has led the art direction and brand identify for the new app. The Soho-based firm has previously worked for clients in a range of sectors including technology, finance and the arts. Previous clients include retro club night School Disco and the Institute of Directors.
The consultancy chose the distinctive artwork of illustrator Mr Bingo, a person as mysterious and as creative as graffiti artist Banksy, as the face of the app. Mr Bingo, who is believed to live in Shoreditch, has illustrated articles in GQ and Esquire magazines as well as for big companies like Orange.
Thomson Sport’s Lynsey Devon said: “Everyone loves to predict a winner, especially during the World Cup. It is like those football wall-charts you use to have when you were a kid but brought bang up to date.
She added: “The excitement over England’ s progress  in the World Cup in South Africa is sure to grow to fever pitch in the next few weeks and we predict that thousands of fans will be downloading iPundit to their iPhones. It means that everyone from football-obsessed blokes to fans who only follow England when they do well can banter about England wherever they happen to be.”

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