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This Week in VR Sports: Sportsnet Brings 360 Hockey to Fans, Laduma Partners with Denver Broncos & Middlesborough FC Launch VR App

This week VRFocus’ roundup of all things sport and virtual reality (VR) related features a mixture of disciplines. From the UK there’s football from Middlesborough FC, from the US there’s the NFL’s Denver Broncos and from Canada we’ve got hockey.

Molson Canadian and Sportsnet Bring Hockey Fans Live, Front-Row Access in 360-degrees

Canadian brewing company Molson has teamed up with Sportsnet to bring hockey-loving fans that little bit closer to the sport with the launch of live 360-degree NHL broadcasts.

Across six consecutive Saturday night hockey broadcasts, fans will be able to watch the games live in VR on Sportsnet.ca and the Sportsnet app by using VR headset found exclusively in select cases of Molson Canadian across Canada.  Three different 360-degree cameras will be used during the games, allowing viewers to experience the live action on the ice and take in the arena’s lively atmosphere. Adding to the immersive experience, fans can also watch behind-the-scenes footage from select NHL teams and on-demand highlight videos.

“Molson Canadian is known for bringing epic hockey experiences to the people who love our beer, and we understand that hockey fans across the country may never a get a chance to sit front row during a Saturday night game.  So now we are bringing the front row to you, live during some key hockey match-ups as we enter the playoff stretch of this season,” says Duncan Fraser, Marketing Manager, Molson Canadian. “We’re so excited to bring the latest in Virtual Reality technology to hockey lovers from coast to coast in a way that only a partnership like Molson Canadian, Sportsnet and the NHL® can!  We’re creating an experience for Canadians to celebrate their love of the game like never before!”

The live immersive experience will be available for the following Sportsnet games:

  • Calgary Flames @ Vancouver Canucks – Saturday, Feb. 18
  • Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Saturday, Feb. 25
  • Detroit Red Wings @ Edmonton Oilers – Saturday, March 4
  • Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets – Saturday, March 11
  • Chicago Blackhawks @ Toronto Maple Leafs – Saturday, March 18
  • Ottawa Senators @ Montreal Canadiens – Saturday, March 25

Molson Canadian - Sportsnet

Laduma partners with NFL’s Denver Broncos to provide a unique 360° experience

Last year VR specialist Laduma announced a multi-year content deal with LA Galaxy to produce a series of 360-degree experiences. Now the company has partnered with the current Super Bowl champions Denver Broncos to give their fans an up-close, 360-degree experience featuring their sporting heroes.

As with similar VR sporting partnerships fans will get a behind the scenes look at their favourite team, from walking out next to them onto the pitch, to soaking up the pre-game atmosphere. The Laduma content will shortly be available across Broncos’ platforms.

Director of Marketing for the Broncos, Ted Santiago, said in a statement ”The Denver Broncos look to not only embrace emerging technology, but want to be at the forefront of adopting and implementing technology that enhances fan engagement with the Broncos organization. The team at Laduma provided a solution for immersive live VR content that puts our fans in the middle of the action whether or not they are able to be at the game. Laduma are true professionals who share our vision in this space which led to a successful collaboration.”

Laduma - Denver Broncos

360-degree App Launched by Middlesborough FC

And for fans British football team Middlesborough FC the club has now released its own behind-the-scenes 360-degree app for iOS and Android devices.

Created by Spearhead Interactive Ltd, Boro VR 360 Experience – as you might suspect by nowallows the clubs fans to walk through the players’ entrance and head into locker room. Here users will be able to view individual profiles for the footballers and also participate in interactive exercises to learn more about the entire team.

“We’re delighted to be taking our first steps into this emerging technology and continuing to develop ways that will bring fans closer to the club,” Bob Tait, head of digital and marketing development at MFC, said in a statement. “The club and Spearhead have focused on creating a quality experience that will really bring the players’ matchday experience to the fans. We are sure that unique behind-the-scenes content will be of equal interest to both our local Teesside faithful and fans further afield.”

The Boro VR 360 Experience comes in two varieties, a free scaled back version or a premium option for £1.99 GBP. The free version does have an in-app purchase option should users want to upgrade to the premium experience.

Middlesborough FC VR app