Talking VR & AR at Salford University with Liverpool FC, Sportego and Mi Hiepa

Next week – on 21st February to be precise – we are going to be heading to the fantastic surroundings of the University of Salford’s MediaCity campus. We’ve been working closely with them to put together what promises to a great event.

Not only are the headliners mentioned in the title going to be imparting their wisdom, but also more immersive experiences will be on display, too. The intriguing ‘Egg Room’ will be used to enable attendees to try out the social VR experience filmed at Salford City FC, something I’m really looking forward to seeing!

An important part of what we will be doing is not only look to talk about these ‘trends’ or issues within our great industry, but also experience them and take a more immersive approach. If you’ve never experienced VR, for example, then it would be hard to see what the benefits and restrictions are with it.

We’ll be looking to tap into the expertise of our guest speakers to follow on from some of the topics raised in the recent #DSLondon event. Taking an honest approach to where we are with the technology and how it can benefit the sports industry.

Liverpool’s biggest VR piece in recent times was their 360 ‘Inside Anfield’ video with club sponsor Standard Chartered. This does go back to late 2016, though so what has happened in the intervening year and what were the results of that campaign for both the club and sponsor? What opportunities are there for more of these immersive videos, as we saw with the recent Tottenham Hotspur activation with AnimalVegetableMineral / 7 League, that give fans a total experience within the home of their team.

Mi Hiepa have an approach to VR that is away from the fan engagement side we concentrate most on, and look at the opportunities that exist to help with player performance. Not only looking at the physical side of the sport, but also assessing the mental aspects that are often overlooked, or just plain hard to measure and test. But putting players into scenarios that can only be recreated within a virtual experience and seeing how they react could be invaluable to clubs.

Sportego are a fan engagement company that provide data analysis and fan engagement solutions for the sport industry. In their fan engagement mobile app called Fanlink, they have embedded hidden content in club crests, sponsor logos and matchday programmes. This has allowed fans to discover content in a novel way as well as ensuring fans engage with sponsors. For example, for their client Meath GAA, they embedded the celebrations of each of the division winners into the club crest of the relevant team, allowing the fans to re-live the lifting of the trophy through AR!

Sportego are currently developing a gamification element to AR and will be soon rolling out an augmented reality rugby drop goal game in the official IRFU app. The game will be embedded into the matchday programme and will see fans compete to achieve the highest score. Fans then share their high scores on social media, resulting in widespread impressions. AR Games are a great form of activation for sponsors too, with the highest scorers receiving a special sponsor offer or prize.

About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 820 posts

Dan is the Founder & CEO of Digital Sport. Can be found at sports industry events and heard every week on the Digital Sport Insider podcast. @DanielMcLaren

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