What is Augmented Reality?
Simply put, augmented reality (AR) is the ability to place computer-generated graphics in your line of vision. The view that you see is enhanced or augmented using computer generated images, sounds, videos and even GPS information. It was popularised with the launch Pokemon Go and it mixes the real world with computer graphics.
How Does a Semi-professional Football Club Use AR?
Frickley Athletic, a member of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League, are using (AR) to bring their match programmes to life, giving supporters access to match highlights that they don’t traditionally get the opportunity to see through the social media and web channels that those in the Premier and Football Leagues have access to. In response to the additional content that fans were able to view using their smartphones, the club is seeing a huge increase in programme sales, selling out on a couple of occasions and having to increase their print run.
In the lower leagues, clubs face an ongoing battle to keep cashflow moving and the books balanced. Adding AR to match programmes could provide an opportunity to generate a new or increased revenue stream while also bringing the programme back to life. As well as match highlights, AR could be used to display player interviews and launch new football kits.
There are also other commercial opportunities for clubs to explore, and it’s likely that local suppliers and businesses would be interested in buying space to promote their products and services. It’s also the sort of advertising real estate that companies who supply football kits such as https://www.kitking.co.uk/football-kits/ might be interested in.
So, is augmented reality a flash in the pan or is it here to stay? According to the Guardian the two biggest players in smartphone software, Google and Apple, are pitching to win the war in augmented reality as they fight it out with new handsets, cameras and apps which are intended to deliver Terminator vision to the mass market.
Matchday programmes have been a source of revenue for football clubs since just after the Second World War, however over recent years it appears that sales have been static or in decline as younger more tech savvy audiences turn away from paper products. AR provides a real opportunity for football clubs to bring them right back up to date.