While much of the spotlight aimed in the direction of Tottenham Hotspur football club is Gareth Bale orientated at present, it was a pleasant distraction to discover the London outfit’s latest initiative, as they present Tottenham Turfies – an innovative digital gaming platform aimed at young children, developed by Hangar Seven.
With a keen eye on the future and the next generation of fans, Tottenham Turfies is an interactive and fully immersive experience for the younger crowd, and the world’s first to be developed by a football club. Capturing the imagination of kids, Spurs will no doubt be keen on appealing to a worldwide crowd – and following a recent trip to Hong Kong, and with Spurs at the forefront of NBC’s advertising campaign in the US, it seems a worthwhile endeavour.
Using fictional, avatar-style characters in the Moshi Monsters mould, kids will have the opportunity to control the ‘Turfies’ that live beneath the soil of the White Hart Lane pitch, in an imaginative virtual world, where users can collect coins and trade player cards amongst their peers, earning virtual trophies and medals in the process. This online experience can be extended to a physical one also, with prizes consisting of Club Fun Days, Open Training Sessions and Stadium Tours, as well as Spurs merchandise.
Though this safe to use digital platform is entirely free of charge – and the kids will no doubt enjoy their time spent using the product, as it’s so Tottenham orientated, it may alienate kids who support other teams, and disallow the opportunity for kids to share their experiences amongst their friends, as children generally aren’t segregated by football allegiances. However this may be a reason for other clubs to follow suit, as an exciting new project that will no doubt inspire other clubs across the world to get involved.
At the launch – of which we were fortunate enough to have been invited to – we had the rare and incredible opportunity to speak to the club’s ambassador and former captain Ledley King, who admits that opportunities such as this simply weren’t available to him when he was growing up.
“At that age there wasn’t anything like this for me,” he said. “At eight or nine if I had the opportunity to interact with the club at an earlier point it would have been great. To come to the stadium, the training ground… it just would have been great. Unfortunately I didn’t have that opportunity.
“Thing were different when I was younger. It was a long time ago since I was young and things have changed. The club have made it easier now for kids. I do a lot of work in the community and players in the team at the moment come out into the community and engage with the fans, it’s something that didn’t happen as much when I was younger, so things are changing and the clubs are trying to give back as much as they can.”
Though aimed at kids primarily – King admitted there is also an appeal for adults to get involved. “I think the adults will play it as much as the kids, there may be some competition in the household. It’s a great, fun game.”
In the meantime, we couldn’t pass on this opportunity without asking the former England international about his own future at Spurs, as he tells us of his plans of getting into coaching – as well as the hopes for the forthcoming Premier League campaign.
“I’ve been thinking about coaching, I’ve started my badges,” he said. “It’s not for everyone, we’ve seen some great players not get into coaching or not be as good a manager as people thought. For me it’s very early days and hopefully I’ve got something to offer.
When quizzed on Spurs’ hope of qualifying for the Champion League, he said, “I say it every season [laughs]. With the new signings I definitely believe that again this season – three top quality players have come in. Hopefully if we keep everyone together we’ve got a great chance. “
A nice, uplifting way to end what was a hugely productive day – and not a mention of Gareth Bale in sight.
Visit the home of the Turfies at www.tottenhamturfies.com to create your own avatar, play games and quizzes, challenge friends and earn rewards.