Here we are again, a Saturday afternoon with another look at what’s going on in the world of immersive technologies – i.e. virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), or anything of that ilk – and sport. So, what do we have this week? Well, a familiar name crops up once again -this time getting involved in the world of motorsport but before that we’ve news on a sport and VR related event taking place next week that VRFocus is a media partner with.
Dedicated VR & Sports Summit Piles On The Speakers
The role of VR and AR in sport is, as you would have guessed, a continuous theme at the World Virtual & Augmented Reality Sports Innovation Summit 2017, to be held in San Francisco, California from November 15th-16th, 2017. After we first talked about it on this column two months back, the event already now has over fifty speakers attending and over 200 senior executives from the worlds of sport and technology as well as world renowned brand and big names in the world of broadcasting.
In fact in terms of sports teams there’ll be speakers featured from: The Seattle Seahawks, FC Barcelona, the Washington Redskins, the L.A. Dodgers, the L.A. Kings, the Vegas Golden Knights, Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Cowboys, Boston Celtics, BC Lions Football Club, San Fransisco 49ers, the New York Mets. Indiana Pacers, both the New Orleans Pelicans and New Orleans Saints. The Golden State Warriors and the German national football team!
That’s not including representatives from a whole host of sports governing bodies. The NFL, PGA Tour, FIFA, NASCAR, Rugby World Cup Sevens, the World Surf League, Major League Soccer (MLS), Tennis Canada and the US Olympic committee. It is quite the line-up and for more information and to register for the Summit please click here.
Bayern Munich Look To Augmented Reality
Following on from Italian giants Juventus’ own comments about immersive reality two weeks ago the latest version of the arguably Germany’s biggest team Bayern Munich have added an AR feature to the latest version of the team’s iOS app. In a similar way to how the technology is being utilised by some American sports teams it gives the option to bring two of the team’s players, Manuel Neuer or Arjen Robben into a fan’s selfie.
Not every time a sports team talks about using VR or AR they are being entirely accurate, however. But unlike some of the aforementioned other teams elsewhere, where ‘AR’ is being promoted as, essentially, a glorified green screen, the Bayern app does have some degree of customisation with swapable shirts and other ways to personalise the end result. The customisation on the shirts is also, cunningly, tied in with the club shop allowing fans to then buy their virtual creations.
It has certainly made the organisation consider the future and how the technology could play a future part in their marketing plans. “We believe that AR could be key for us in the near future.” Commented Stefan Mennerich, Director of Media Digital & Communications at Bayern Munich. “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.”
We will, of course keep you up to date with anything that is subsequently announced.
NASCAR Truck Team Is Latest Zeality Partner
Zeality (who will also be in attendance at the World Virtual & Augmented Reality Sports Innovation Summit 2017, incidentally) are once again in the news. This time they are looking to bring immersive media content to motorsport to help increase fan engagement with both the spectacle and the branding.
Zeality, who are working with (amongst others) the San Fransico 49ers, San Jose Sharks, Visa, Reebok and more, will be working with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ GMS Racing Team on future content. Justin Haley the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion who joined the team last year at the end of last year was enthused about the possibilities.
“It is so cool that Zeality jumped on board with our No. 24 GMS Racing Team.” He said. “The best part of my job is engaging with fans and Zeality gives us a whole new way to do that. NASCAR has the best fans in all of sports and I’m stoked that Zeality gives them a new platform to interact with our team.”
“Motorsports has a rich and storied history.” Commented Zeality’s Co-Founder and CEO Dipak M. Patel on the agreement. “We are fueling the next chapter, as we believe the future of motorsports will rely on new ways to captivate and engage generations of fans. Interactive immersive experiences like AR, VR, MR, and 360 media, enabled by Zeality’s platform, will allow fans to connect and engage in exciting new ways. We’re excited to be partnering with Justin as he represents the future of Motorsports and the promise of a whole new way of thinking.”
Zeality are now a sponsor of the Haley truck as well, which you can see in this video taken late yesterday in a video that will be part of the company’s non-VR content.
— GMS Racing (@GMSRacingLLC) October 28, 2017
VRFocus will be back at the same time next week with more VR, AR and MR sports.