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AR Spotlight: The Carolina Panthers Showcase the Possibilities of AR for Live Events & More

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© Carolina Panthers

On the first week of the new NFL season, the Carolina Panthers decided to put on a show for fans across the country with the appearance of a giant mixed-reality panther.

%[https://twitter.com/Panthers/status/1437103615634726916?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1437103615634726916%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.embedly.com%2Fwidgets%2Fmedia.html%3Ftype%3Dtext2Fhtmlkey%3Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07schema%3Dtwitterurl%3Dhttps3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fi%2Fstatus%2F1437103615634726916image%3Dhttps3A%2F%2Fi.embed.ly%2F1%2Fimage3Furl3Dhttps253A252F252Fabs.twimg.com252Ferrors252Flogo46x38.png26key3Da19fcc184b9711e1b4764040d3dc5c07]

This amazing display of the power of augmented reality (AR) was created by The Famous Group; a company focused on developing mixed reality experiences for live events. The animation was rendered live on stadium video feeds with a camera tracking the virtual panther’s movements. The clip was then posted on social media, where it quickly went viral, showcasing the massive and growing interest around AR experiences from consumers and the technology’s potential in producing eye-catching content.

Interested in creating these kinds of AR experiences on your own? Check out echo3D.

Overall, the Panthers were able to generate more impressions than any other NFL team in week 1, according to Zoomph. The video was not only successful from a social media standpoint, where it has 5.7 million views on Twitter, it was also a success financially. The clip generated over $60,000 in value for the Panther and their sponsors within a few days.

The Famous Group has worked with NFL teams in the past to create live AR shows, including one with the Baltimore Ravens in 2019. However, John Slusser, owner of The Famous Group, said in an interview with Yahoo that the Panthers video has attracted more attention because the 3D model interacts with its surroundings. According to Slusser, this level of intractability with the environment is a new thing for fans, “People haven’t really seen that before.”


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Both the Carolina Panthers and The Famous Group have seen an increase in interest from potential sponsors and clients who want to know more about utilizing AR for their brands. In an interview with Sportico, Slusser said “We started getting calls from around the world asking, What is this? And how can we do it? … I definitely think this was a milestone in augmented reality.” The CRO for the Panthers, Jake Burns, also stated “Now that we’ve seen the success and the earned media that it’s drawn, we definitely feel that there’s a lot of opportunities beyond what we had originally intended. … It’s safe to say that it’s generated strong interest from sponsorships.” With more brands becoming aware of the power of augmented reality, it will be really exciting to see what new, innovative experiences they come up with next.

Augmented Reality and Live Events

Augmented reality provides brands with limitless possibilities for creating engaging customer experiences. In the live event space, AR technology presents unique opportunities for entertainment, advertising, and much more. Here are a few other great examples from recent years.

League of Legends Dragon

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In 2017, a virtual dragon invaded a live concert performance during the League of Legends World Championship Finals.

The Weekend TikTok Concert

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© TikTok

With the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting live performances, The Weekend utilized a digital avatar and 3D visuals to put together an AR concert on TikTok that garnered over 230,000 live viewers.

Bonus Content: Check out our article on how VR is changing the music industry & our list of the best VR events and concerts planned for 2021.

Interested in creating these kinds of AR experiences on your own? Check out echo3D.

Houston Texans Hot Wheels Track

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Augmented reality can also be used for creative advertising and sponsorship approaches, as shown by the Houston Texans creating an AR Hot Wheels track within their stadium. This experience was also created by The Famous Group.

Bonus Content: Learn more about how AR/VR technology is changing the sports industry

As live events and concerts continue to be revolutionized by AR technology, we at echo3D hope to continue to be part of that journey. With our 3D-ready cloud platform, companies can manage and deliver 3D/AR/VR content that can be used on apps and devices everywhere, making our technology a great option for live events or concerts.


echo3D (www.echo3D.co; Techstars 19’) is a cloud platform for 3D/AR/VR that provides tools and network infrastructure to help developers & companies quickly build and deploy 3D apps, games, and content.

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