- The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks unveil a large-scale augmented reality installment at the Downtown YMCA in Dallas on Oct. 20 for the team’s home opener, according to a news release.
- Fans can visit the 68-foot by 193-foot mural of Dennis Smith Jr. and visit Mavs.com/AR to access the Facebook filter. Once the AR experience is activated, Smith comes to life for a slam dunk in AR. The Facebook app is required to view the AR experience.
- The AR experience, which was produced by creative and technology studio Groove Jones, includes video and photos to bring the animation to life. It will be available through December, and fans are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using hashtag #mavsAR.
Nike's Jordan Brand similarly used an AR slam dunk experience earlier this year, but on Snapchat, for a sneaker pre-release that quickly sold out. While the Nike activation took place during a private party for loyal customers, the Mavericks strategy could reach a larger audience given that the Facebook app is more widely downloaded and mural is in a public space. .
AR, virtual reality and related technologies are becoming more popular with sports leagues and advertisers looking for opportunities to engage fans with unique, immersive experiences. The Dallas Mavericks is hoping to build excitement for its new season and boost social media traffic with the new AR mural and hashtag. Consumers are becoming more interested in the technology, and fans could enjoy seeing the larger-than-life slam dunk through the AR filter and snapping selfies in front of the mural.
During the TV broadcast of Game 1 of the MLB World Series on Oct. 23, YouTube TV debuted two AR ads, which showed on a large video player behind the Green Monster Seats at Fenway Park, like it was part of the physical ballpark. YouTube TV controls were overlaid on the broadcast.
Facebook, which is playing catch up to Snapchat in AR, began testing AR experiences that are tied to real-world location markers in March. The social media platform used a closed-beta test to promote films “Ready Player One” and “A Wrinkle In Time,” and had planned to add tracker-based AR to its AR Studio, making it available to all developers. During the tests, users could point their Facebook Camera at a movie poster to see a virtual world and other effects.