«EM-profeten» served several functions:
(1) Before the games started, it obviously gave an overview of the match schedule. But more importantly: Due to the complex match system (where 24 nations were reduced to 16 after the preliminary matches) it also served as a match calculator, where readers could experiment with different outcomes and find out which teams that likely would proceed to the final rounds and meet each other there.
(2) Readers could predict the results of the matches and store it – hence the «prophet» name. Using these predictions, readers could form private leagues with friends – comparing each others’ prophet skills as the matches unfolded. Via the «spy mode» it was possible to study the predictions of other members in the group.
(3) It was also a nationwide contest: In the end we named Norway’s twelve best prophets, and awarded them with football tickets.
Match results from the UEFA European Championships were available everywhere. How could we convince our readers that our site was the best place to check and remain loyal to? By creating a game.
The goal was to replace two classic features well-known by sport fans:
First, the complete match schedule, which in the old days typically would be printed on the center double page in the newspaper, carefully ripped out by the readers and filled out by pen as the games went on.
Second, the private betting scheme, typically an excel sheet distributed by email among a group of friends.
The Euro 2016 was a golden opportunityto replace both, because of the complicated game setup – it was impossible to print on paper, and very difficult for an amateur to make a meaningful excel sheet out of it.
Data was provided in real time by UEFA. No reluctant sources involved in this project.
One developer/reporter for about one month, one designer for about one week, plus occational help from the rest of the editorial development team.
26,808 readers took part in the competition. Almost all of them followed the site thoroughly through the entire competition (the number of unique visitors tended to lay around 50,000 on days with two matches and around 75,000 on days with three matches).
Time. The project grew larger than we imagined in the beginning.
PS. It’s a little tricky to demonstrate «EM-profeten» after all the games have ended. The link is a demo-link, which shows the site’s functionality before the games started. You can fill out the results and watch how the tables change and how the finals are populated. You can also try the «prophet button». Then you must just imagine how real results steadily ticked in throughout the championships, altering your and your friends’ point status from day to day. The final toplist is included in the demo. In real life you would also find your own private leagues here, comparing you and your friends and colleagues.