It seems as if ‘virtual reality’ is the new buzz-phrase for those looking for unique ways to promote their brands while appealing to an ever-expanding audience. Today it was revealed that the Cleveland Cavaliers, in partnership with Budweiser, will give away 750 virtual reality headsets to fans at tonight’s Game 2 playoff versus the Atlanta Hawks. The headset, which uniquely doubles as a beer holder, with a can of beer able to fit inside each eye-hole of the device, will function in a similar manner as the Google Cardboard headset you have all likely seen in the past.
“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,” said Lucas Herscovici, VP of Consumer Connections at Anheuser Busch. “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 device will work hand-in-hand with the new Cleveland Cavalier mobile application for both iOS and Android, which is totally free to download and is being presented by BBVA Compass. The application allows users to immerse themselves in video clips of the team as well as additional content that will take them behind the scenes and in the Cavs’ locker room. The team also says that new VR-compatible content is the works and will be rolled out on a regular basis.
“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,” said Mike Conley, Cavs VP of Digital. “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.”
As far as we can tell, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the first NBA team to offer virtual reality content within their official mobile application. While only 750 fans at tonight’s sold-out game will actually receive the headset/beer holder, millions of individuals who own a Google Cardboard or other similar smartphone-compatible headset will be able to download the application starting today and instantly access content specifically created for virtual reality.
While we are sure other teams will follow suit in the race towards VR supremacy, this is yet another move which cements virtual reality’s place within the media consumption space. Let’s hear your thoughts on this move by the Cavs and Budweiser in the Cleveland Cavaliers VR Headset Giveaway forum on VRTalk.com.