It has been a rough couple of years for the McLaren Formula 1 racing team, but that hasn’t stopped them from embracing new technology and finding new ways of connecting with its dedicated fanbase. The latest involves a multi-year partnership with HTC for virtual reality (VR) content, technology and esports.
McLaren have long been considered one of the Formula 1 teams who are more engaged and supportive of its fanbase, which comprises over 100 million fans worldwide. The new partnership has been announced as a way to make McLaren and F1 more immersive for those fans.
McLaren and HTC will be launching a special edition McLaren-branded HTC Vive headset, and will also be joining forces to create new immersive VR and augmented reality (AR) experiences in an effort to bring fans closer to the action of the sport.
HTC will also become the official VR partner of McLaren’s esports programme, which will integrate VR esports into a real-world sport. The HTC Vive Pro will act as the official VR device for the competition, but full details on the event have yet to be revealed.
Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing, said: “Today’s announcement is a real statement of intent from both McLaren and HTC. We are both committed to using the latest technology to give our fans the most immersive experience possible, short of physically putting them in the car. We will also work together to transform the way VR is used to enhance gaming, creating an experience that enables gamers to feel like one of the world’s best racing drivers.”
Alvin Wang Graylin, China President, HTC, said: “McLaren and HTC both have a long history of disruptive innovation in our respective fields. By joining forces, we will be giving F1 fans new ways to experience and enjoy the sport like never before. The McLaren esports programme will be the first time a real sport has been combined with esports, and now by adding VR to the mix, anyone can realize their dream of being an F1 driver.”
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