CES SPORTS ZONE: Three big lessons for brands – part 3

CES SPORTS ZONE: Three big lessons for brands – part 3

Immersive media is ready to make a real difference (finally)

Virtual Reality (VR) has reached the point where it is able to match the expectations of sports fans. That is the view of Danny Keens, VP of Content at Next VR.

VR has, until now, suffered from some fundamental flaws when it comes to sport: affordability, quality, accessibility and shareability. But recent breakthroughs in headsets, camera technology and connectivity are set to tackle many of these issues.

The size and simplicity of the equipment is much improved. The price is more manageable. Screen resolution is higher.

More radically, volumetric video is enabling a far more immersive view of the action. And, according to Geoff Reiss from Yahoo Sports, the portability and interactivity of next gen VR devices will spearhead a “golden age of collaborative viewing”.

The evidence for this can be seen in higher average viewing time (from 7 minutes to 38 minutes over the past 3 years) and increased total use, with some estimates suggesting 10% of sport will be viewed in VR by 2020. That would put it firmly in the sights of the biggest rights-holders, media owners and broadcasters.

Consequently, brands and sponsors should not ignore the potential that VR now has to create a more immersive, interactive point of engagement with sports’ audiences. No longer an activation “gimmick” but a powerful channel for innovative campaigns.

Brands can unlock access to new experiences previously off-limits for fans, offer virtual seats that enable distant audiences to experience every game like a local or integrate VR ready advertising directly in to the virtual environment. We may well see that the most talked about advert at the next Super Bowl is one delivered in VR.

Click the links to read part one and part two in the series. To read our full report on CES 2019 click here.

Jonathan Drakes, Strategy Director, Fuse and Author of Merge Sport: How technology will revolutionise sport for the fans