If fans can engage and communicate via VR in sport every Saturday, it will make a lot of other interactions feel two-dimensional and static - Omaid Hiwaizi, President of Global Marketing, Blippar
The Drum's Tony Connelly interviews the makers and marketers of VR content for sports advertising. The consensus is that VR is here to stay, brands are merely waiting for the hardware to reach consumers. Paul McCormick, associate director of Pitch, suggests that the VR experience will become an addiction - sports fans will become adrenaline junkies for the closeness to the action and their favourite athletes, and brands will have to push innovation in the creation of engaging experiences for a content-thirsty audience.
People want to feel closer to the action. The integration of technology... has allowed fans to feel the adrenaline of their heroes - Paul McCormick, Pitch
We're starting to see brands invest heavily in the creation of immersive experiences for sports fans.
The Rugby World Cup used a number of VR and AR experiences to engage with fans, such as O2's Wear the Rose VR ad for Oculus, New Zealand sponsor AIG turned to VR to bring fans up close to the performance of the haka, #Haka360 and all 2.4 million tickets featured AR behind-the-scenes material, designed to bring the experience alive for fans.
In football, Manchester City introduced a 360-degree camera in the Etihad Stadium’s tunnel, which provides fans with behind the scenes footage of the players during match days.
And in racing, Mountain Dew put fans in the passenger seat with Nascar driver Dale Earnhardt Jr as he hits speeds of up to 100 mph.
VR... will benefit the brands because "these experiences when viewed in a VR headset create deeper connections, and form stronger memories and associations towards the content." - Solomon Rodgers, Managing Director, Rewind