Innovative Ways To Drive Fan Engagement Using Augmented Reality in Sports
Immersive experience platforms like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have gained massive reach and growth in the past decade. You would be astonished to know that in the U.S. alone, 83.1 million users are projected to use AR at least once per month in 2020.
Smartphones with AR capability have provided a gigantic opportunity for marketers and creatives around the world to create and publish content that is fun, responsive, exciting, and attractive in nature. Let’s see in detail how you can leverage AR in sports!
What is Augmented Reality (AR)?
With a steady increase in awareness of AR technologies on the market, everybody’s wondering what AR really is.
It may sound like technology out of a sci-fi film but it’s really easy to understand and use with augmented reality platform. For businesses, AR is a marketers tool to publish campaign-oriented content on over 3 billion AR-enabled smartphones in the world. For individuals with smartphones, it’s an easy way to connect to brands and outlets with content that is both informative and fun.
You have already used AR, you just don’t know! The various filters available in apps like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram are all examples of AR technology. Now, just imagine what you can do if you hold the power to create your own AR content that users admire! Your campaign engagement will hit the skies with the right marketing strategy!
How Augmented Reality (AR) Works?
With every passing day, we feel like we’re stepping closer to science fiction. It’s no surprise that we might live like Neo, from The Matrix in the near future! Engineers are refining their work and technology for implementation in the real world. A decade ago, AR would’ve been a dream but today it’s a multi-billion dollar industry. So, let’s take a look at how it works!
AR is a blend of interactive graphic elements and sensory projections in our real-world environment. Pokemon Go is one of the best examples of interactive and responsive gameplay. In the game, when you saw those Pokemons through the lens of your smartphones, you felt like they were right there in your neighborhood.
The immersive design puts you in the first person’s shoes, allowing you to take control of your environment virtually anywhere! The basic idea of this technology is to superimpose graphics and audio elements in your real-world environment. Pranav Mistry with Pattie Maes and Chang, developed SixthSense, a part of MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group. This technology showed the world of the groundbreaking applications of AR.
Imagine AR has developed various patents that cater to the growing uses of AR technology.
- Storyline based on Player Location: It allows you to play a game via a character. Your geo-location is used to interact with the character that imitates your location. Thus, allowing a seamless experience of a story.
- Importing Virtual Objects Using Barcodes: In a game, when you scan a barcode from the real world, a virtual object is activated from the barcode's input. You are free to interact with the object in the game environment.
- Capture Intent: In a game environment, with the use of a touch gesture, you can complete an expectation or an action using the character in the game.
In your smartphones, AR uses your camera and GPS system capabilities to project digital elements in your real-world environment.
Revolutionizing Sports For Fans Using Augmented Reality (AR)
1. Experience Sport As First Person
AR is an immersive experience technology. It brings you closer to the game and gets you more involved in the whole process. But how does it do that?
For first-time viewers, it can help with understanding the rules of the game, identifying key players, and highlighting scores and important aspects of the game that are often overlooked.
For mature players, it can show deeper stats and player strengths and weaknesses, which is a mere intuition in any traditional game.
Using such a level of interactivity, players of different levels of interests and understanding and enjoy the game equally.
As you can see below, TV2 covered Denmark’s cycling event, featuring 3D models of cyclists in front of the passengers.
2. Professional Help
AR & VR are both miracle technologies with a positive impact on people’s lives. In sports, AR helps in improving the skills of sportsmen and athletes, which enhances the overall experience of your fans.
Behind the scenes, AR can be implemented in various sports events to enforce fair gameplay. In Cricket & Tennis, you must have seen a 3D trajectory of the ball’s movement, which is an augmented system.
In future years, we’ll see even more games use AR during broadcasting on TV or online to show more detailed information to viewers. Cameras provide only a one-dimensional view of the whole sport. It fails to capture the intricacies of the game, and the challenges every player experiences on the field.
With ImagineAR’s marker-based mobile AR app, you can see more, learn more, feel more, and adapt to the game in a more immersive manner.
3. Training Aid
During team practice, there’s always the risk of injury to a player. In the addition to virtual environments, AR in sports will greatly encourage individual training of a sports player.
Consider a virtual coach, one who’d be available to the player at any point in time, and provide detailed feedback to the player’s game and advise strategies to improve the gameplay.
For example, in sports such as football, players can fetch real-time data on players and their strengths and possible next moves along with the landing trajectory of the ball. Such information can massively help improve the quality of the game and possibly make the game harder to win!
4. Team Marketing
AR offers one of the best ways to advertise and engage fans. We believe it is the most effective and trending medium of advertisement and marketing. The various interactive experiences for fans help collect information about the customers, to drive customized marketing campaigns.
Every little aspect of the game can be digitized and monetized using AR. You can leverage a mobile AR game to advertise your brand, allow fans to click photos with 3D models of players, use location markers to inform users of events nearby, and much more.
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5. Virtual Stadiums
Do you enjoy watching a live game at the stadium? Then you’re going to love this new enhanced experience of AR in stadiums.
You get live statistics, highlights, replays, and all the fun stuff with live food order and bill payment using just your smartphone and smart glasses, wouldn’t it be crazy and fun?
To add further, you might get discounts or coupons for completing a small task or activity. Get rewards and pay for your fries using these coupons!
If you’re at home, you get to experience a virtual stadium right in the vicinity of your living room. You don’t miss the game, even though you have missed the game!
6. Sports Fans
Sports fans are going to love AR, mainly due to the versatility of this technology. It brings games, rewards, live experiences, statistics, and much more to the table.
Your merchandise store doesn’t just end at shirts, cups, photo frames, toys, but with AR, you get to create software merchandise that your fans are going to enjoy!
Erie BayHawks Sign Deal with Imagination Park to Bring Augmented Reality Experiences to Fan Base
7. Social Media
Social media continues to be the most engaging platform for popular experiences. Social media giants Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram has already implemented AR experiences for their users.
It gained massive support by users as well as developers. No more static ad formats. This is the age of interactive media.
Why Should You Care About Augmented Reality (AR)?
Do you remember how marketing teams used to set up focus groups to study buyer personas and sell hand-printed copies of your running campaign around the city?
Now, it’s a level playing field for every marketing company to leverage social media marketing to post images and videos to run the same campaign. Furthermore, social media enables marketers to study buyer personas by using engagement metrics.
In a world of available resources, it becomes a challenge to find an edge above all others. AR is the next phase of engaging with your fans. It is the tool to bring your supporters on your side and impact the world like never before.
It’s very common to be unsure of the applications of such a huge technology. That’s why we’re here to help you guide through this process. ImagineAR has helped many sports teams connect with their fans like never before.
World Football Summit 2020, NBA, Basketball Hall of Fame, Erie Seawolves, we’ve helped them all and more. We’re calling out to you too.