Do you remember Thomas Vergouwen ? He was one of our partner bloggers for the Tour de France. You can take another look at his interview here
A huge cycling fan and a blogger with velowire.com, he was the correspondent for the Tour du Poitou Charentes website, covering this cycling race held from August 23 to 26. He has explained to us how Orange’s technical expertise enabled him to work under optimum and indeed groundbreaking conditions for this event.
As a partner, Orange provided him with access to various resources, including equipment making it possible to optimize the broadcasting of the race in virtually real time online:
> a 3G key allowing Thomas to post his photos, articles and videos on the internet site, putting them online within just a few minutes even though he was in a car. In this way, web users were able to discover updates on the stage starts and finishes or even interviews with racers just a couple of minutes later.
> a SIM card enabling GPS tracking for the race on a Google Map, presenting the route for each stage. Once again, internet users were able to follow the race’s latest twists and turns in real time and check the pack’s position without having to wait.
The result: the Tour Poitou Charentes website has seen its audience figures double compared with last year! In fact, with the exception of the Tour de France, cycling races very rarely benefit from such technical capabilities or resources. For Thomas, this type of arrangement is set to develop because it enables web users from around the world to follow the race as if they were there, while bloggers can be incredibly responsive.
This racing event has successfully innovated by using new technologies, the internet and social media to expand its audience: in addition to its internet site, the Tour du Poitou-Charentes race was also covered on Facebook and Twitter. An outstanding example which should, let’s hope, be followed by many others in the future to enable us to experience events live!
Thanks to Monique Bricault (Orange’s Limousin Poitou Charentes Regional Division) and Thomas for their insight. You will also be able to follow Thomas all year round on his site velowire.com as well as on twitter @velowire_com.