Mike Koeshartanto

Viewing Paris Soccer Through Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has become one of the hottest tactics in experiential marketing, though until recently it has been reserved for large-scale programs (with even larger-scale budgets). The introduction of products like Google Cardboard has propelled VR technology to more mainstream marketing use…for the benefit of brands and consumers, alike.

Last month, we were privileged to partner with French super-power Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on a VR initiative that was executed throughout their summer 2015 North American tour (Toronto, NY/NJ, Charlotte, Chicago).

Aside from the excitement of these match days, it was especially fun for us to flip-the-script on most of our event work. Here, we harnessed the size of our match attendance but did so in an effort to pull fans away from their physical experience to take them into a custom, immersive digital experience.

Ultimately, we believe it added tremendous value to the fans’ overall takeaway onsite while bringing these consumers much closer to the Club they love. To review…

PSG provided fans a unique glimpse inside the Parc des Princes, the Parisian club’s stadium since 1973. Enlisting the services of Google Nexus devices and a mobile web-based landing page, fans peered through the viewfinder-like Google Cardboard device to see the Parc des Princes come to life. Entertaining is a perfect word to describe the blend of next generation virtual reality and the simplicity of cardboard.

Real photos of the Parisian stadium became three-dimensional works of art, allowing fans to see omnidirectionally through the virtual sphere. Immersed in this world, fans got a great sense of what the Parc des Princes looks like on a PSG game day with players like Zlatan Ibrahimović visible on the field and fans densely populating the stands. Not only were fans engaged through visual effects, but fans could also hear songs and chants from real PSG supporters.

The pre-game activations went well beyond the Parc des Princes virtual reality experience, however. Once fans gave the Google Cardboard setup a try, PSG brand ambassadors distributed commemorative photos celebrating the club’s quadruple trophy haul in 2015. The pairing of hands-on experience with traditional premium giveaway was a great way to engage fans during the time they spent in PSG’s footprint and beyond. Happy with this experience, fans were even more delighted when PSG brought out their lynx mascot, Germain. Everyone from kids, to moms and dads, to opposing fans stood in line to get their picture taken and shout “Ici, c’est Paris!”

From a three-dimensional look into the Parc des Princes to pictures with the lovable lynx Germain, the PSG footprint was packed with intrigued fans of all ages. Up until kickoff, there were nary a dull moment, which is great for a club looking to expand its reach into a growingly hungry market here in the United States.

The takeaways from our three PSG experiences are plentiful. Unity between next generation technology and a club looking to swell in popularity amongst tech-savvy Millennials proved to be a great partnership. Rest assured, these pre-game activations gave PSG representatives a glimpse into what the future may hold for the club. Emblazoned on the side of the PSG Google Cardboard devices used in the activation was the phrase “PEER INTO THE FUTURE” – what a fitting double entendre.

Should you happen to have access to one of these VR viewers, we’d love you to take a moment and feel the excitement of #PariStories here: http://paristories.psg.fr

Categories: Europhile, Event Marketing, Featured, Soccer Marketing