We have witnessed a surge over the past few months as some of the world leading sports clubs have launched Immersive Technology projects as an integral part of their digital strategies for 2018.
The ability to close the space between physical and digital realities is a fundamental element of fan engagement, reach and brand activation. Storytelling through an immersive narrative has the potential to take engagement and digital advertising to the next level.
Italian giants Juventus FC launched their Virtual Reality app at the end of 2017 which takes users onto the match-day pitch, behind the scenes at training and into the middle of its Serie A Championship celebrations.
In providing 360 access they create unseen and emotional connectivity to the club. This can make huge waves on a club’s digital footprint and their ability to engage more keenly with their digital following.
“The potential (for VR) is enormous for a club like Juventus, where 80% of our 50 million followers on digital platforms lives outside Italy”
Federico Palomba, Co-Chief Revenue Officer, Juventus
This is echoed by German behemoth FC Bayern releasing the latest version of the team’s iOS app. This has an AR feature to bring either team captain Manuel Neuer or forward Arjen Robben into their selfies, alongside the option to pick one of the club’s three jerseys in the photos to personalise and screenshot the number and name on the back of the jerseys.
“We believe that AR could be key for us in the near future... We’re already thinking about the merchandising experience via AR and how that could potentially work with sponsors when it comes to exporting the logos of our partners.”
Stefan Mennerich, Director of Media Digital & Communications, Bayern Munich
Although not a fully fledged commercial revenue drive, the app is the first step towards discovering the commercial potential in immersive technology. With the Apple iOS11 update that enables brands to add the feature to their apps there is a rising belief that this will help push immersive technology to the masses.
With this enablement, fan engagement on mobile, in the stadium and then on social media is ready made for AR. This quickly realised capacity to capture, engage and then ultimately commercialise via these platforms is set to be huge business for major sports franchises.
There has undoubtedly been a swing towards fan engagement and how it can be optimised to create an enhanced digital platform for fan and brand engagement, immersive storytelling holds the key.
The Immersive Technology In Sports & Entertainment Summit comes to London on April 18-19 and is about how we realise and define the future and business cases for broadcast, brand marketing strategy and ROI across the sports and entertainment industries.
Visit www.virtual-reality-sports-innovation.co.uk for more information