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Adelaide Strikers lead the pack in Virtual Reality

The Adelaide Strikers and major sponsor Statewide Super pushed industry boundaries during BBL|06 as fans had the opportunity to experience the Big Bash like never before – via virtual reality.

The project was typical BBL mentality – bold, entertaining and ground-breaking – and developed to add yet another exciting element to what is already an in-your-face fan experience. This one was literally placed on the faces of Strikers fans. And what better way to get inside their heads?

Titled The Next Striker, a BBL season through the eyes of a Strikers recruit was simulated using 3D camera technology. Samsung Oculus virtual reality headsets allowed fans to momentarily step into the shoes of a Strikers player thanks to Statewide Super.

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The immersive technology meant that fans were able to share in the emotional highs and lows of a professional cricketing career.

The series was produced in seven one-to-two minute episodes, taking fans through the journey of life as a Strikers player from receiving their contract to media appearances, training and even life on the road.

The Next Striker episodes were made available before each Strikers game at Adelaide Oval, just as fans were preparing for the thrill of the match.

Statewide also handed out 2000 Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets across the season, enabling fans to watch the videos in VR from their own home by inserting their smart phones into the casing.

Strikers fans line up to experience life as a Strikers player via virtual reality

The series, produced in conjunction with virtual reality studio Jumpgate, was one of the most innovative digital storytelling projects in world sport and was written and directed by Adelaide local filmmaker Tom Phillips.

The Next Striker was one of the most ambitious VR projects to be undertaken in Australia, and the Strikers have been fantastic in focusing on the story-telling opportunities of the new technology, rather than simple gimmicks,” said Jumpgate Managing Director Anton Andreacchio.

“We know there are plans for a similar content series between the NFL and Google, but this series was the first of its kind in Australia. It’s been really exciting to pioneer this angle with the Strikers.”

Adelaide Strikers General Manager Bronwyn Klei said the virtual reality activation was a perfect fit with the Strikers’ goal of providing innovative ways of creating fun, family entertainment.

“Virtual reality is quickly evolving into one of the most innovative ways of connecting fans with sporting teams, which is something we strive for,” she said.