We’ve seen virtual reality broadcasts featured in NASCAR, golf, the Olympics, soccer, and more, and now colleges are getting involved to feature their own sports content in VR. EON Sports recently announced VR partnerships with both the University of Miami and Penn State University, and both will include a wide selection of behind-the-scenes content.
From their Miami release:
EON Sports VR, the world’s leading virtual reality sports training and fan experience company, announced a partnership with the University of Miami to create the first virtual reality (VR) channel for fans of its athletic teams. This partnership represents the first college team to provide fans with an all-access virtual reality pass to experience intercollegiate athletics up close and personal.
Through EON Sports’ proprietary technology, the University of Miami can upload dynamic content to their customized VR channel to provide their fans an immersive behind-the-scenes experience in a customized virtual reality environment.
To access the VR channel, Hurricane fans will have the opportunity to purchase a UM-branded VR headset, retailing at $29.95. Practice footage, scrimmages, huddles, and interviews are just a few examples of the types of content to be streamed to the channel.
…The University of Miami is aiming to debut the new technology to fans in early October providing content from both their men’s, and women’s teams.
“We’re incredibly excited to be working with EON Sports to put this virtual reality channel together. At the University of Miami, we strive to be on the cutting edge of digital, video, social, and web technologies and EON and their team have helped immensely in that endeavor,” said Jason Layton, Miami Senior Associate Athletic Director for Communications and Sales. “After an investment in broadcast and video production, we wanted to expand into other ventures, including 360º video and we’re able to do that with this immersive product. As we look forward to an October launch, we’re excited to show off what our team has been working on in conjunction with EON Sports.”
And from their Penn State release:
ON Sports VR and Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics today announced a partnership to create a virtual reality (VR) channel, LionVision VR, for the Nittany Lions’ loyal and passionate alumni and fans.
The partnership between Penn State and EON Sports VR, the world’s leading virtual reality sports training and fan experience company, is among the first offerings nationally in intercollegiate athletics to provide fans with an all-access virtual reality channel.
Through EON Sports’ proprietary technology, Penn Staters can view dynamic content via their iOS or Android based smartphone. LionVision VR will provide fans a behind-the-scenes views of practice, pre and post-game locker room coaches’ talks and a wide array of iconic Penn State experiences, while immersed inside a customized virtual reality environment.
…To access LionVision VR, Penn State fans will have the opportunity to purchase an annual subscription to LionVision VR for $29.95 in this first year. The 2016-17 subscription will run through June 30, 2017 and include a free, Penn State branded Dodocase VR headset, sent directly to subscribers who sign up by October 3. Updated practice footage, scrimmages, huddles, and interviews from all 31 teams, are just a few examples of content to be presented on LionVision VR.
“Penn Staters are the most passionate alumni and fans in the nation,” said Michael Cross, Assistant Athletic Director for New Business Development. “LionVision VR will allow Nittany Lion fans spread across the world to see, hear and feel what it’s like to be part of practice and game day in ways that were never previously possible. This is the next best thing to being in State College. If you love Penn State, you can look forward to having regular experiences with LionVision VR.”
Here’s a trailer promoting the Penn State channel:
We’ll see how much traction this gets, and if the content on these channels proves substantial enough for fans to really engage with them. If that happens, though, expect many other schools to follow suit.