Extra time: Why Tag Heuer and football make a perfect match
The luxury Swiss watchmaker using smartwatch technology to score with the Premier League and its referees
Tag Heuer has always been intrinsically connected with active pursuits such as motor racing, sailing and skiing, but its recent unveiling of two new partnerships show the Swiss watchmaker is getting even more serious about sport.
Not only has it signed a three-year deal to be the official timekeeper and global partner of Manchester United, but Tag Heuer's been named the English Premier League's official timekeeper, too.
Far from being just a name plastered over the stands, the brand has worked with league officials and referees to develop a new app. From this season, every referee will sport the Tag Heuer Connected smartwatch, which uses Android technology to access thousands of apps from Google Play. The app in question has been specifically developed to meet the demands of refereeing at the highest standard, above and beyond the precision timekeeping already expected from the brand.
Through its user-friendly interface, referees can easily track the two 45-minute halves of a football match, including allowances for stoppage time, and the 15-minute half-time period. Developed with the help of Intel and Google, the app is also tailored to ensure no movements stop the timing.
For those who had any doubts about its efficacy, worry not: it has already been put through its paces during the pre-season warm-up games. "This is not a gimmick – it's a real tool that referees can and will use during games," says Tag Heuer chief executive Jean-Claude Biver. "Every detail has been worked through with the Premier League referees, so I have no doubt the app will be very useful."