Kiwi ingenuity online wins a standing ovation

A boutique digital agency based in New Zealand is changing the game for sports fans worldwide.

Sports fans around the globe are finding all the latest information about their favourite codes at the touch of a screen, thanks to a world-leading digital agency based in New Zealand.

New Zealand digital agency NV Interactive is winning international awards for its ground-breaking work with clients including the world’s largest sports media group ESPN and New Zealand Cricket.

NV Interactive’s digital strategist Tim McConnell says the agency is unique in that it is strongly multi-disciplined with strengths in both technology and design.

The agency’s team of expert digital natives start with an overall user experience strategy, and translate that into a creative solution that can be applied across all digital mediums.

“We’re experts at making things look beautiful and the user experience smooth, but we also excel at the technical side which gives us an advantage when it comes to providing clients the best possible outcomes,” McConnell says.

And the strategy has paid off, with Microsoft awarding the boutique agency with its prestigious Worldwide Partner of the Year 2014 award for innovative technology.

Defining fan experiences

NV Interactive excels in defining fan experiences in their web and mobile app development process.

McConnell says the agency is changing the game for app development because it recognises how people spend their screen time on computers, tablets and smartphones.

At home, NV Interactive is using technology solutions for its work with the cricket industry, among others.

It’s no secret Kiwi cricket fans are among the most passionate in the world, and McConnell says NV Interactive was tasked with helping New Zealand Cricket digitally capture their fans’ imagination.

He says the agency built apps and redesigned the website to give cricket fans what they needed online.

“The results are strongly visual apps that deliver information broken down by series, lead users to statistics, live updates and link to current articles on the website,” says McConnell, who’s a keen cricket fan and player.

In fact, all 26 employees at NV Interactive’s Christchurch and Wellington studios have sports in their veins – it may well be on their job description.

The Christchurch studio is housed in one of the city’s few remaining historic buildings; the former 1877 Grosvenor Hotel (now called Strategy House).

Results overnight

Gus Pickering, who is the agency’s technical director, says New Zealand is a good place to do business, both for lifestyle and efficiency. He says they take advantage of the time zone differences, because a day’s work is the evening in the UK – meaning their clients get results overnight.

That’s certainly been the case in their work for ESPN, which NV Interactive first partnered with back in 2006 when it set up a live scoring system for the sports media group’s Cricinfo website.

The agency then pitched for work redesigning the group’s apps, and fended off competition from industry heavyweights to win the contract.

“They loved our design-centred, user-centred approach and entrusted us to create new apps for sports fans,” McConnell says of ESPN.

“The result is a strongly visual app loyal to how fans follow cricket. Users first choose a series, then access statistics, live updates and links to current articles. It’s the most beautiful way yet to follow cricket.”

New smartphone app

Keeping on the sports-theme, NV Interactive is working on a new smartphone app for the national American newspaper USA Today. The app is a one-stop shop for all of the country’s top level sports, and Pickering describes it as an elegant solution that bypasses information overload.

He admits that he sometimes has to pinch himself when working for such high-profile clients offshore, based amongst scenic surroundings in the South Island.

“I really feel that New Zealanders are well respected overseas, and working with us is an advantage because our work is world-class,” Pickering says.