Changing the Game: The Impact of VR on Sports, Plus New Experiences from the NBA, Juventus, and the San Jose Sharks

Oculus Blog
Posted by Oculus VR
October 13, 2017

Today, we’re excited to share the latest draft picks on our roster of sports experiences. Whether you prefer your action on the court, the pitch, or the ice rink, you’re in for a treat.

Strength in Numbers: The 2017 NBA Finals

Produced by m ss ng p eces, Strength in Numbers lets you relive the excitement of the 2017 NBA Finals in VR. It was unprecedented from the outset—the first time in history that two teams matched up for a third straight NBA Finals. This is The Finals from a view you won’t find anywhere else—on the court, behind the scenes, and everywhere in between, featuring player interviews and breathtaking in-game action.

“Some of the best basketball players in the world, including Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, give the kind of intimate, immersive interview that is only possible in virtual reality,” says NBA Vice President of Global Media Distribution Jeff Marsilio. “And broadcasters like Shaquille O’Neal already know how to play off the VR cameras in funny and entertaining ways.”

Watch Strength in Numbers now on Oculus Video for Rift and Gear VR.

Juventus VR

Experience Juventus from the view point of your favorite soccer heroes. Soak in the stadium atmosphere from on the pitch, step inside the home dressing room, go behind the scenes at Juventus Center, and take a journey through Bianconeri history at J|Museum.

“Previously you would have had to be physically in the stadium or at the training field for an experience like this, but not every single fan is able to be here in person,” says Juventus Co-Chief Revenue Officer Federico Palomba. “Thanks to VR, Juventus and other clubs are able to eliminate these geographical boundaries, multiply access, and bring fans into contact with their favorite sports stars.”

Dive into the action, wherever you happen to be, on Gear VR and Rift!

San Jose Sharks VR
Earlier this week, the San Jose Sharks released the NHL’s first dedicated VR app. Get up against the glass at the Shark Tank or go behind the scenes at the SAP Center for rare post-game experiences in 360° with unique social features from Zeality. Get ready for the puck drop today on Gear VR.

Spectacular Spectatorship
Over the past two years, consumer VR has changed the face of sports spectatorship, and critics are taking notice. Last year, m ss ng p eces brought home an Emmy for their film Follow My Lead: The Story of the 2016 NBA Finals—and we can’t wait to see the response to this year’s documentary.

“The NBA has some of the most tech-savvy fans in the world, with a finger on the pulse of what’s new and relevant in technology,” explains Marsilio. “And they’ve come to expect us to push the envelope of innovation in ways that bring them closer to the game. When we released Follow My Lead in 2016, the response was almost universally that we’d given the fans a perspective on the NBA Finals they’d never had before, and the new film pushes that experience forward in so many ways; we’re really excited to see how the fans react to this one.”

The team at Juventus echoes that sentiment, highlighting VR’s ability to make the impossible possible.

“VR gives fans the impression of being immersed in exclusive areas like the tunnel where players stand before the match or locker rooms,” says Palomba, “enabling them to hop from one place to another within the Bianconeri world and to experience things first-hand that they could only otherwise dream of.”

NextVR is getting in the game as well, with NBA LIVE scheduling and on-demand broadcasts of select NFL games. Click here for details or download the Gear VR app today.

Wide World of Sports
Thirsty for more sports action? Here’s a quick look at some fan favorites:

  • The Climb—Scale new heights and take in breathtaking views in this Rift best-seller.
  • Echo Arena—Push, pull, and punch your way to victory in E3 2017’s VR Game of the Year.
  • Knockout League—Boxing meets arcade-style action as you take on an eccentric cast of characters.
  • Project CARS—Live out your racing dreams on a variety of tracks with tight turns, pit crews, and dynamic time and weather.
  • VR Sports Challenge—Push your skills in a variety of sports on both Rift and Gear VR.

That’s just a taste of the sport-related content available on the Oculus Platform. From tennis and fishing to archery, golf, and beyond, there’s an active experience for everyone.

We’re excited to see what the future of VR and sports holds, and we look forward to sharing it with all of you.

— The Oculus Team