Cavs and Budweiser Team Up to Bring Virtual Reality Experience
NBA franchise, Cleveland Cavaliers have teamed up with Budweiser to bring a virtual reality (VR) experience to fans by inviting them to venture into the emerging realm of fully immersive, 360-degree VR videos. The innovative technology, which was provided to fans with the official *Cavs mobile app presented by BBVA. The team gifted a limited number of specially designed, Budweiser-branded, cardboard viewing headsets to fans attending the Round 2 Cavs vs Atlanta Hawks game last May 4th at Quicken Loans Arena.
VR as a tool to bring fans closer to their teams
“As a company, we are always looking for new ways to bring fans closer to the teams they love, and virtual reality is a big part of that,” Lucas Herscovici, VP of Consumer Connections at Anheuser Busch, said. “The Cavs have been great partners in helping us activate this technology in the NBA and we look forward to continuing to evolve this activation.”
The Cavs are the first in the NBA to have VR capability natively integrated with their official team mobile app and one of the only teams in the league that currently offer exclusive VR content. The technology has been made available with the debut of an exclusive VR video that takes fans inside the game day experience. The team intends to publish new videos throughout the playoffs.
Fans will feel like they are actually in the environment they are viewing, when they watch these videos on their mobile device, either as a 360-degree video or enclosed in the fully immersive VR headset. With the aid of the technology, they will have the ability to pan and rotate their device or headset in order to view the panoramic videos from different angles and perspectives, simulating a real life experience.
Mike Conley, Cavs VP of Digital, said: “We’re always looking for new ways to connect with our fans by leveraging emerging technologies that deliver unique experiences. VR was a logical next step and an area we’re excited to explore.
“The technology has endless opportunity and thanks to our partnership with Budweiser and Yinzcam, we’ve been able to get a head start in the emerging VR space with the new video content available on the Cavs App.”
How it Works
The first of its kind Budweiser VR headset fan giveaway at the Cavs vs. Hawks playoff game is a multi-purpose accessory. Aside from the fact that it’s a VR viewer that provides a more immersive experience by eliminating the boundaries associated with the device, the special fan giveaway easily transforms into a handy Budweiser beer holder. The viewer works by inserting a smartphone into the front of the headset, then looking through a built-in, specially designed lens, at the screen of the device that’s streaming the VR content.
The Budweiser-branded cardboard viewing headsets are just one aspect of the Cavs’ new multi-year agreement with long-time partner Budweiser. The partnership is meant to connect passionate Cavs fans with Budweiser’s iconic brand through unique fan engagement and innovative digital activations, as typified by the new VR experience along with Budweiser takeover nights that includes digital and social activation throughout The Q.
The virtual reality content was developed, filmed and produced by the Cavaliers. The cardboard viewing headset, which was crafted by DoDoCase, works with a free official Cavs mobile app presented by BBVA and powered by Yinzcam which is available for download at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store and is compatible with most Apple and Android smartphone and tablet devices.
The idea of creating cost-effective and multi-purpose virtual reality viewers originated with Budweiser, which in turn worked with its sports marketing agency WME|IMG and the Cavaliers to make it a reality.