By Jordan Azcue
Virtual reality technology, software that reacts to the users’ movement and creates a three-dimensional environment that feels realistic, is on the edge of changing sports for fans, athletes, and everyone in between, Loeb & Loeb partner Douglas N. Masters recently suggested in a presentation.
For some, this trend could be unwelcome.
“Virtual reality is going to be one of these things where there might be some resistance because it could cannibalize the in-stadium experience,” Masters said. “Why am I going to go pay to be at the Knicks game when I can sit in my living room and feel like I’m there with the headsets on?”
The flip side is that it may open many doors for spectators who do not enjoy crowds, cannot afford to attend the games, or live too far away and can now get the experience of being at the game.
“Instead of thinking about those engagement opportunities as cannibalizing the in-stadium experience, I think they’re ultimately going to be additive,” Masters said.
“We’re going to see it not only as an opportunity to provide fans with new ways to engage and participate in sports, but it’s also going to create multiple tiers of new revenue streams that in some ways, we really haven’t even begun to figure out,” Masters said. “Will there be high-level opportunities to be courtside or to have inside access, or some lower-cost opportunities to maybe be in the balcony? Are there going to be ads running within the streams? Are there going to be sales opportunities not only during games, but during practices and other experiences — traveling with the team on the plane to the game, whatever it might be?
And it will not only increase sales, but it could also create a stronger bond with fans. For example, what if fans could attend plane rides to games, or see what it is like to be in the locker room after a winning game, or participate in the coin toss?
All in all, virtual reality could change sports forever. But the positive possibilities may outweigh the negative.
For more information, you can visit: http://www.loeb.com/publications-clientalerts-201706-virtualrealityagamechangerforsports