Minnesota Vikings “Oculus Virtual Reality App”Posted on March 21, 2018 by National Sports Forum | Selling It | SUBSCRIBE
MINNESOTA VIKINGS TAKE FANS “INSIDE U.S. BANK STADIUM” WITH VR
Team expands reach with new virtual reality app for Oculus
By: Josh Kracoff
Dear Faithful Readers,
Opening a new stadium or arena is always thrilling for teams and their fans, especially on gamedays. However, only so many fans can actually attend each game and experience the new stadium firsthand. This week we wanted to bring you a story from our friends at the Minnesota Vikings on how they used technology to bring more of their fans closer to the action and “inside” U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings initially shared 360° pictures and videos with fans to keep them updated with U.S. Bank Stadium’s construction. They then took it a step further to develop virtual reality (VR) content from their games through the Oculus App, sharing a piece of the new gameday experience with more of their fans.
Enjoy the read!
Director of Marketing & Communications
“Kudos to the Minnesota Vikings for being an early adopter of VR technology to enhance the fan experience. By teaming with Zeality and Oculus Rift, the Vikings have created a unique and immersive experience that takes their fans ‘inside the stadium’ and a step closer to the action without stepping inside of U.S. Bank Stadium.” Visit www.sportsdigita.com to learn more about Sportsdigita.
Minnesota Vikings “Oculus Virtual Reality App”
While a stadium capacity of 66,655 may seem like a large number, the Minnesota Vikings newly-built U.S. Bank Stadium is actually in the bottom third of NFL stadiums in that regard. Recognizing that their fan base was much bigger than the amount of fans that could attend a home game, the team wanted to create a unique and immersive experience that could take their loyal supporters “inside the stadium” and bring them up close to the action. Considering a growing emphasis on the overall fan experience and utilizing technology to do so, the Vikings became the first NFL team to create an app for Oculus VR, a virtual reality headset, which was complete with 360° photos and videos that provided fans with an opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of a Vikings home game without even setting foot in the stadium.
The Vikings are certainly no strangers to using technology to engage its fanbase. When U.S. Bank Stadium was under construction, the team kept its social media following updated and engaged with how the project was coming along by periodically posting 360° photos on its various social media platforms. The photos received a positive reception from the team’s fanbase, with many commenting on the posts and applauding the organization for its efforts.
Seeing that the photos were so well received, the Vikings capitalized on its technological prowess to take it one step further to 360° video. Beginning with U.S. Bank Stadium’s opening for the 2016-2017 NFL season, the Vikings collected 360° video from its home games, compiling short clips that brought viewers behind-the-scenes on content ranging from pregame preparation and player introductions to sideline pep talks from coaches and players. While the videos were uploaded on YouTube as well as its social media platforms, the team realized that an effective way to reach its fanbase was to consolidate all the media into one place. The team began working closely with Zeality to compile the content into a VR app for Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that would allow consumers to experience the Vikings like never before. Users of the Oculus app were treated to a unique experience to get up close and personal to the Vikings players with exclusive media clips that were available on the app, as the content served as a perfect complement to the game action for fans who wanted to experience the Vikings journey to the fullest.
The Vikings partnered with Zeality, a sports tech company that specializes in 360° VR content, to design and implement the app and deliver a fully-immersive experience to its fans.
While the Vikings are still compiling results from the Oculus app’s inaugural season, the team noted overwhelmingly positive fan feedback on the 360° content posted to their YouTube channel and the Oculus VR app, as well as on their social media campaigns and targeted advertisements that showcased the 360° and VR technology on the app.
Moving forward, the Vikings plan on taking a deep dive in the offseason to evaluate and refine the Oculus app even further to ensure that consumers are receiving the complete immersive experience that the app offers. Scott Kegley, Executive Director of Digital Media and Innovation for the Vikings, stressed the importance of VR in constantly engaging and growing the team’s fan base: “Virtual reality and 360° content is very important to our organization. We understand only a small percentage of our large fan base is able to attend a Vikings game or event. We want to bring experiences to them, and immersive technology is allowing us to do that.” While no technology, no matter how advanced, can fully replace the thrill of a live gameday experience, innovative efforts like this one are certainly a critical step in the right direction.
For more information, contact:
Scott Kegley, Executive Director of Digital Media and Innovation, Minnesota Vikings
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