“Virtual reality is impacting all areas of the sports industry,” said Brad
Allen, executive chairman of NextVR.
The company, which has offered virtual reality broadcasts since 2009, has
partnered with Fox Sports to bring
viewers the U.S. Open golf tournament, the Daytona 500, the Big East
Men’s Basketball Tournament and
Telling Stories Through Tech
One camera was placed on the 17th tee,
PGA Tour fans without the Gear VR
headsets could watch The Players
Championship through a 360-degree
video stream on Twitter and Periscope.
one on the walkway from the tee box to
the green and a third in the water adja-
cent to the island green.
Both VR and augmented reality platforms are most effective when they’re
used to tell stories with “a unique point
of view that you wouldn’t have without the technology,” said Gutterman.
He cited a segment during The Players
Championship broadcast showing two
commentators sitting at a coffee table
on which a holographic, interactive
model of the 12th hole could be seen.
“There was an opportunity there to
not just show a flat, 2D picture of the
hole,” he said, but to show viewers how
the hole was reconfigured and point
to the bunkers and the fairway and
the green. “People can see the undulations and all the different aspects of the
hole,” he added.
The PGA singled out the 17th hole
at TPC Sawgrass not only because it’s
TV, not online, and not even in person.