Augmented Reality in Sport Marketing
Uses and Directions
Keywords:augmented reality, sport marketing, innovation, technology
The augmented reality (AR) market is expected to grow to $60.55 billion by 2023 and there are currently an estimated 4.2 billion AR-capable devices in the hands of consumers. Experts believe that sport is a high-value market for AR as it is uniquely positioned to utilize AR in multiple marketing contexts (Haber, 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate at which sport organizations are utilizing AR as they attempt to reach fans and consumers that are limited or restricted from attending events in person. This article introduces augmented reality to sport managers and practitioners and defines AR, detailing how it can be used by citing examples of how it has been used in sport marketing to this point. Specifically, the paper discusses the three most common classifications of AR for marketing and their role in sport: advertising/promotion, product management, and customer service. The types of AR delivery systems (e.g., HMD, projector-based, smartphone, broadcast AR) are also discussed to clarify that AR is a grouping of technologies and not just one hardware platform. Sport and non-sport examples of AR implementations of the different classifications and delivery systems are provided in this text. Three recommendations are provided for AR development and implementation, namely that sport AR activations should be a complement to the sport product, focus on visual appeal, and strive for immersion. These recommendations are grounded in academic research and intended to assist practitioners planning to implement AR as part of their marketing strategy.
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