Next-generation fan engagement platform ARound has entered into a partnership with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers to enhance game days at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse through augmented reality experiences.
The agreement has been signed to coincide with the NBA playoffs and will enable fans to digitally interact with the court and fellow fans, and witness real-time effects on the team’s giant video screen through mass multi-user gaming, 3D player personalities and real-time effects.
The AR experience has been dubbed Cavs ARcade and will include a chain-shot contest, an interactive, skill-based challenge allowing fans to win team jerseys and autographed merchandise.
A Wine and Gold ‘Landslide’ feature will centre on an arena-wide multiplayer game, allowing fans to rally behind their team colours, while team mascots Sir CC and Moondog will be brought to life in AR on fans’ phones and arena video boards.
Cavs ARcade will run throughout the team’s home playoff journey and will also include away game watch parties. The experience is powered by the ARound Stadium app on iOS and Android devices.
The deal marks ARound’s first partnership with an NBA team and follows similar agreements with Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins, as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.
Josh Beatty, founder and chief executive of ARound, said: “We’re seeing a growing appetite from sports teams to keep existing fans engaged and capture new, younger audiences, who are recognising the ease in which ARound naturally integrates and complements the action of the game. So far, fans have responded very positively to these interactive experiences, with engagement times exceeding our expectations.
“As the first team in the NBA to introduce shared AR, the Cavs are opening up an entirely new playing field for their 19,000+ fans at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse to feel closer to the game, the players, and the energy of the venue, especially in this notable return of the Cavs to the playoffs.”
Brandon Jirousek, vice-president of digital for the Cavaliers, added: “From the play on the court, to the energy in the FieldHouse and across Cleveland, everything is amplified in the NBA playoffs.
“We knew we had to take our fan experience to another level as well, and we couldn’t be more excited to team up with ARound to help us do that with Cavs ARcade. Innovation is at the core of who we are and this is the latest example of how we strive to explore new ways to engage our fan base and enhance their interactions with the team.”