This Week in VR Sport: NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, Cleveland Cavaliers and Olympiacos FC

Plenty of football this week with a hint of basketball.

There’s never a dull moment in the world of virtual reality (VR) and that doubles when you mix some sport in as well. As VRFocus likes to do every Saturday we’ve compiled some of the best news that combines the two, whilst also mixing in a little augmented reality (AR) as well.

NBCUniversal’s Telemundo Prepares for VR World Cup Coverage

This week NBCUniversal’s Telemundo has announced its future programming plans, revealing the 2018 World Cup will be distributed as a VR experience.

A specially designed World Cup app will be launched, allowing viewers to watch select matches from a virtual VIP platform. Content will include 2D feeds, 180-degree views, 360-degree video content and near-live multi-angle clips, across multiple mobile devices an VR headsets, reports Variety.

“The World Cup is as big as it gets,” said Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises and NBCUniversal International Group. “For Hispanics, soccer is a religion, and the World Cup is our cathedral.”

The broadcaster also plans to add the VR option to its media experience app, “Double Accion 52.”

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Cleveland Cavaliers Excited About “what’s still to come” With AR

During this week’s SportTechie Podcast Cleveland Cavaliers Vice President of Digital, Michael Conley, enthused about augmented reality (AR) and “what’s still to come”.  

Conley discussed a couple of uses the team had implemented such as an AR experience that created a championship ring that looked like it was on their finger, and virtual feature in which fans could shoot buckets at the HUMONGOTRON.

“AR is a great, unique fan-centric platform where fans can get a value out of using their mobile device and using triggers everywhere around their own native environment or an environment that we provide for them,” Conley said. “But what it does is it gives them the ability to consistently engage with the brand through a new and exciting way that really strikes to the younger demographic or at least that was the mentality we thought when we started developing AR. What we found is AR in general is really embraced and accepted by any age group. Everybody likes cool things and likes to engage and interact with new and exciting functions.”

In collaboration corporate partner Budweiser four immersive videos were created allowing fans to see inside the Cavaliers’ locker room, watch game footage and view the organization’s practice facility.

Conley added: “What we learned in the VR process has really allowed us to evolve both our production and approach to VR for the past year to make it much more streamlined and much more valuable from the fan experience side of things when we do bring those 360 videos or those VR videos to our fan base.”

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Olympiacos FC Reveal ‘Legendary Virtual Experience’

The current Greek Superleague football champions Olympiacos FC has collaborated with shirt sponsor Stoiximan for a VR fan project called Legendary Virtual Experience.

During an event at the club’s Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, players promoting the launch included Alejandro Damián Domínguez, Karim Ansarifard, Thanasis Androutsos and Marko Marin. The experience allows fans to view the history of Olympiacos FC, then select a squad from the current team and take to the pitch to score goals, all using HTC Vive.

Checkout the video below to see the experience.

 

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