This Week in VR Sport: Partnerships, Deals And Even More Deals

A flurry of broadcasters bringing coverage to a variety of sports

It’s the weekend, which means it’s time to consider the world of sport once again on VRFocus as we look at just what news has materialised over the last seven days or so linking the likes of football, basketball, motor racing, baseball and more to immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Eurosport Adds Equestrian Competitions To VR LineUp

Eurosport have perviously used 360 degree video to broadcast coverage to VR head-mounted displays but until just recently they had not considered bringing that to the field of equestrian sports. After research and a very strict approval process however the broadcaster was able to bring 360 degree coverage of the jumping and carriage contests at the European Championships held in Gothenberg, Sweden, to the public.

Eurosport discussed their work in a video where they go into how they needed to get specific approvals on every piece of equipment from the people in charge to make sure they weren’t infringing any contest rules as well as discussing some of the technical choices they made.  You can see a version of the video from YouTube below, however to see the video in a higher quality you can view it here.

NESN, Intel Team Up For Broadcasts In Boston

Over to the world of baseball now and the MLB where another team-up has occurred to bring coverage to users via a “VR telecast”, specifically customers who possess a Samsung Gear VR. Announced earlier this week via a press release, NESN teamed up with Intel and their True VR system to broadcast four games featuring the Boston Red Sox in action against the Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays.

Available via the NESNgoVR app from the Oculus Store fans have a final opportunity tonight to take in the game from Fenway Park.TV providers that have set up authentication are as follows:

  • Atlantic Broadband
  • Xfinity (Comcast)
  • Cox Communications
  • DirecTV
  • Metrocast
  • Playstation Vue
  • RCN

More information for anyone interested is available at NESN.com/VR.

Behind The Scenes Action Coming To INDYCAR

Speaking of media team-ups there’s been one announced for INDYCAR as well this week. The VR studio behind it? MANDT VR. As a result MANDT VR will be 360 degree content to racing fans from Indianapolis 500 and other races such as the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 and the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma. This will intitially be done on IndyCar.com as well as Facebook and YouTube.

Speaking on the deal in a press release, co-founder and CEO of MANDT VR Neil Mandt commented that, “As a car enthusiast, I’m particularly thrilled to be partnering with INDYCAR to produce virtual reality experiences tied to such a beloved sport. With such a huge following and robust history, INDYCAR has not only enriched the discipline of racing but has also become an American icon. By providing a new medium for consuming INDYCAR content, we hope to encourage future generations to carry on the tradition of racing culture.”

INDYCAR were also delighted with the deal.”INDYCAR will continue its momentum by engaging present fans while seeking new and younger audiences.” CJ O’Donnell, Chief Marketing Officer of INDYCAR. “Social media, video content, and now virtual reality will be central to this strategy. By partnering with MANDT VR, we will deliver highly immersive experiences for fans of all ages. I am certain this will bring them closer to the speed and excitement our sport delivers.”

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