San Jose Sharks, Zeality Dive Into Augmented Reality To Engage Fans

Logan Couture (Photograph by Gregory Shamus/Getty Pictures)

San Jose Sharks followers who took residence Logan Couture bobbleheads earlier this month have been offered some directions printed on the aspect of the field. Obtain the Sharks + Sap Middle cellular app, go to the augmented actuality tab, and level the telephone towards the bottom of the bobblehead.

The particular content material is then unlocked, with video of the Sharks star Couture offering first-individual perspective video of his gameday preparation. Fans obtained a singular look, and the workforce discovered quite a bit as nicely.

“How might we take it the subsequent degree the place it’s not one thing simply to placed on the shelf, that it might reside on and be extra dynamic?” Doug Bentz, Vice President of Advertising and Digital for the Sharks, stated of the workforce’s considering behind the bobblehead.

Bentz stated the group has talked internally about augmented actuality for almost two years as a means to enhance the fan expertise. It had already partnered with immersive media platform Zeality on digital actuality and 360-diploma experiences, and AR was the subsequent step. The staff additionally has been recognized to offer away bobbleheads that have been totally different in some ways.

Earlier than the Couture bobblehead was given away on Feb. 10, the Sharks deliberately stored the AR capabilities of the bobblehead underneath wraps so as to reward people who got here to the sport and supply them with a “wow second” within the type of unique content material.

The Sharks discovered that as an alternative of followers utilizing the AR options in venue, they took it house and hung out determining the know-how as an alternative. About three,000 distinctive customers accessed the Couture content material out of the 17,000 bobbleheads that have been distributed, in accordance with Bentz. For people who didn’t give it a attempt, the group can also be planning to ship a push notification for recreation attendees to remind them that the AR expertise is out there by way of the cellular app.

Already there are plans for the Brent Burns & Joe Thornton Barbershop Bobblehead giveaway on Fan Recognize Night time on April 7 to incorporate an augmented actuality component that’s generated by scanning the field. The workforce can have co-branded gadgets within the workforce retailer that unlock content material as nicely.

“My expectation is that we ramp this up fairly considerably and AR actually turns into a cornerstone of our efforts within the subsequent three to 5 years,” Bentz stated.

“AR undoubtedly performs to our funding on cellular technique and fan expertise.”

Zeality, which has offered the Sharks with an Oculus VR app and a approach to do 360-diploma fan response movies, sees a future in augmented actuality as properly.

“We’re actually trying to AR and VR to create new interplay fashions for followers,” Zeality co-founder and CEO Dipak M. Patel stated in October.