As the U.S. is waiting for its sacred national pastimes to reopen in a time of pandemic social distancing, sports teams are increasingly turning to a new wave of digital tools such as social media and video games to connect with a new generation of fans.
The Los Angeles Rams are the latest team to join this trend. They’re partnering with social media giant Snap and EA Sports’ Madden NFL franchise to unveil the new design of their uniforms before the opening of the high-tech stadium in National Football League later this year.
The team works with Los Angeles’ own Snap to reveal the uniforms in a bespoke Snapchat Augmented Reality lens that offers the ability to get players to act.
The unveiling of the uniform in augmented reality, a decision made by social distancing measures introduced in California, is a first for any NFL team. The Rams franchise also worked with the Madden franchise to get a glimpse of the uniform by giving Rams players the new look in-game.
On Instagram, social media users can see interactive content of the uniforms in their new natural look before the stadium opens.
“We had been talking about how to use AR for a while. All along the line, ”said Lexi Vonderlieth, head of partnership marketing. “We tried to find ways to bring the uniform to life and to present it a little and create something that is a little appealing.”
From the world lens through Snap, viewers can see Jared Goff or Aaron Donald in their homes, living rooms or. Backyards. Snap users can set via the selfie view. on the new jersey and the Rams helmet.
Los Angeles-based Snap has a longstanding relationship with the Rams. Partly through closeness and partly through connections in the business world of Los Angeles.
The unveiling of the uniforms earlier today was the first time Snap had worked with a franchise, not the National Football League.
Earlier uses of the snap filter and camera this season occurred during the NFL design itself – where Snap released special cams so fans could celebrate and represent their own teams.
The National Football League actually plays a prominent role in the history of snap lenses. The famous “Gatorade Dump” tradition, in which the coach of the winning team in the Super Bowl was poured with Gatorade by his players, was one of the first lenses that Snap developed.
“We saw this incredible connection in how AR can get involved,” said Jeff Miller, senior director of global creative strategy at Snap. “Snap is a platform designed to connect with close friends and family. Such connections express sporting passion. “
In a way, Snap is uniquely positioned to improve the fan experience in a socially distant sports world. “[The technology] gives us the opportunity to have amazing experiences that can replace, improve, or offer alternatives in a sport-from-home environment. “