Augmented Reality (AR) solutions and use cases are skyrocketing in almost every industry. The Sports industry is showing immense potential in leveraging AR. The athletes, coaches, judges, and fans are reaping the benefits of Augmented reality.

It is unleashing new horizons in the sports industry — from bringing athletes to people’s homes to creating immersive content and getting insights about users’ experiences:

With Augmented reality in sports, you can anticipate a future that offers you an amazing, real-field experience sitting on your home’s couch. Also, sports brands, federations, and teams are using augmented reality to unlock new ways to engage fans globally.

How is AR Sprucing up the Sports Sector?

Augmented reality is amazingly transforming the sport experience. It amplifies fans’ excitement and engagement around every aspect of the sport experience, allowing them to feel more connected to their favorite teams.

AR is bringing sports straight to your home with a massive number of 2.4 Billion mobile AR users estimated by 2023.

AR is disrupting the sports sector in various ways. Let’s spot them together!

A Smooth Stadium Journey

Watching live sports is a cheerful experience for sure. But finding your seats or coordinating your friends sitting in a huge stadium is quite troublesome. However, AR offers easy stadium navigation maps that help you search your seats with virtual arrows and real-time path information on your phone.

Sports and Entertainment

With Augmented Reality, watching your favorite sports team playing on-site will be much more entertaining. Before the game starts, AR offers a virtual pop-up of the match information within the stadium. For instance, you can discuss the team score, goals, history, and lineup details, helping you understand the game easier.

Within games like cycling or car racing, AR offers real-time map tracking of athletes to let you discover the path’s curves and distances. Also, broadcasters can display these details during break times.

Personalized Experiences

AR is primarily known for carrying out personalized experiences for every industry, creating new and more personalized ways to grab fans’ attention in the sports sector. And social media has already proved itself to be the most popular ground for AR-enabled experiences.

For example, Instagram and Snapchat filters offer you to click photos with your favorite players in 3D that look real. You can support your favorite team by sharing and tagging these photos with the players you love!

Fantasy Sports

Fantasy sports, or online prediction games, is a new concept in the sports industry. However, it seems like E-sports but with a touch of the real world. Fantasy sports offers an immersive experience where you can form virtual teams of real players to play matches.

You can decide on a weekly lineup with your virtual team of real players. Then, you watch as they run, catch, pass and score touchdowns, all of which are worth fantasy points. You are lined up with someone else in your league every week, and the team with the most fantasy points in a week is a winner!

Thus, fantasy sports is to train virtual players in line with the results of the actual sport.

The Perfect Use Cases of AR in Sports

Athletes Training

AR technology helps you cut down the long-drawn-out training processes meanwhile maximizing the athlete’s practicing time.

Initially, when athletes need to ace new skills or techniques, they probably scroll to google and YouTube in the first place, watch or read various videos or articles —then there comes the long practice section.

Augmented Reality in sports empowers you to superimpose real-time data about every movement, distance, jump, push, throw, etc., so athletes don’t need to be torn between watching the separate video for every technique and training. They can do both, having a better training session!

Minimizing the Injury Risks

A serious sports injury can halt a sportsperson’s career. You can try all possible ways to lower the injury risks, but you can’t stop them from happening.

However, the good news is — AR can significantly knock down the injury risk. For instance, it can analyze whether the practice is worth the risk or not by scanning the player’s body movements and gestures during a training session. It saves players from getting any serious injuries.

Advertising with AR

AR is helping advertisers in ad placement during the match’s live telecast. The ads you see on the sides of the gaming field, especially in cricket, football, and hockey matches — all are placed using AR technology.

Wherever the game is happening, advertisers can place ads virtually to target the physical audience and grab the attention of sports lovers watching the live broadcast of a match simultaneously. It ultimately encourages them to buy the products or services displayed in the ads.

Sports Merchandising

AR is now driving new possibilities in sports domain merchandising, especially to promote sports teams. For example, with marker-based AR, you scan the team’s souvenirs. For example, upon scanning a cup, AR displays the highlights of your favorite team.

Moreover, you can virtually try the t-shirts or sneakers of your favorite players and buy them later. This creative strategy can eventually boost their souvenir sales too.

Fair judgments with AR

No more disputes over whether a ball is in or out of court — AR is here to make more clear and fair judgments in sports. What’s more, judges can review each other decisions quickly in case of any doubts.

The legit Hawk-Eye system is a perfect example that allows fair judgments in sports. With its nearly perfect accuracy, it tracks the ball trajectory along with estimating the object’s path.
It makes sports like tennis, cricket, badminton, volleyball, and football a lot fairer, aiding judges with its unbiased reviews.

Analyze Player’s Performance

An amalgam of computer vision and AI helps you deeply analyze a player’s performance at every level. It gives you the real feeling like you are actually in the game.

Immersive, high-end AR graphics on the field allow fans to enjoy the players’ movement. Fans can closely view how defensive lines are placed on the field and the position of each player when they move.

Sports Broadcasting with AR

Though you are not physically present in the stadium, you can still have the perks of a live match in the ultimate comfort of your home.

Imagine enjoying real-time match commentary, favorite team players, and graphical analysis popping up right in front of you — it would be a thrilling experience for sure— and AR is making it happen already.

Augmented reality merges the realistic 3D graphics and interactive visual contents onto the live video feed of the sporting events.

Future of Sports Broadcasting with AR

  • 3D Matches and Games

AR is bringing sports home with interactive 3D displays of players and scoreboards. You can see a replay of a match in its 3D animated version. Moreover, get a 3D view of a live match on the studio floor with real-time ball trajectories or players with virtual curves and lines.

  • Enhanced Displays with Immersive Graphics

Augmented Reality has already hit the world of broadcasting. A match’s live telecast, an animated match replay, or any footage of the game you watch on your tv is actually augmented via realistic 3D graphics.

  • Live Statistics on the Screen

Augmented Reality in sports is about enhancing streaming experiences with immersive graphics, not your view of the real world. AR displays the game’s stats, social media feeds, crowd betting, or other related info on screens throughout the game.

Famous sports channels like ESPN, FOX Sports, and others leverage AR’s fullest potential, believing that the future of sports lies in powerful AR technology.

Final Words

AR is creeping not just into the consumer side of sports but into its every realm, including training, marketing, and broadcasting. And despite the way you leverage augmented reality in sports, one thing is for certain: hardcore sports fans want to feel more engaged with the teams and players they love.

Since, on the industry side, AR is generating huge revenues for the sponsors, increasing marketing research and merchandise sales —you can expect that sports arenas and sports organizations will introduce more augmented technologies to increase fan engagement and sponsorships.

Augmented experiences are becoming the norm. If you don’t want to fall behind in relevancy, now is the time to explore how you can bring your game home through augmented initiatives.