Ahead of the 2018 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens are rolling out a series of new digital technology initiatives that include several new media platforms.
Over the current offseason, the Ravens have announced a variety of tech-related initiatives, such as a switch to digital ticketing along with several improvements to M&T Bank Stadium. In their latest announcement, the Ravens unveiled new media platforms that are intended to enhance content consumption for fans.
“Just over a decade ago, the Ravens’ digital experience was almost exclusively a website,” senior vice president of Ravens Media Michelle Andres stated. “Today, with the explosion of social media and the internet of things, keeping up with technology has never been more challenging or exciting. The Ravens have long committed to being where our fans are, thus demanding the exploration of new digital technologies.”
Below are features the Ravens have debuted in 2018:
Connected TV/Over the Top
The Ravens have launched another video streaming app, this time on Roku, the United States’ No. 1 streaming TV platform. One of only a handful of NFL teams to venture into the space, the Ravens’ Roku app comes one season after the launch of their Apple TV app. These over-the-top (OTT) channels, available now for free in the Roku and Apple TV App Stores, were created in partnership with Bottle RocketTM. The experience gives fans on-demand access to a broad selection of the Ravens Productions’ library of video and live-streamed programming, including Ravens Report, Ravens Wired, Ravens Unscripted and Final Drive. Offerings also include live press conferences, historical content, special channels like “Ray Lewis: Hall of Fame” and other exclusive and behind-the-scenes video. The Ravens will look to expand their OTT presence to Amazon Fire TV and other OTT platforms in future seasons.
“Alexa, give me my Ravens Flash Briefing.”
Artificial intelligence and voice recognition technologies continue to gain adoption. The Ravens have launched an Alexa Flash Briefing that provides a quick overview of team news and other content using Echo smart speakers and Alexa devices. Fans receive their Flash Briefing by asking their Alexa-enabled device things like, “Alexa, give me my Ravens Flash Briefing.” A Flash Briefing will be a daily feature that hopefully becomes a part of fan routines as they get ready for work or school, or wind down at day’s end.
Virtual Experiences/360-Degree Videos
Few things, if any, are more engaging than VR. From the perspective of inside access, the only thing closer is actual reality. The technology is permeating all facets of media and culture and offers amazing opportunities coveted by fans. The Ravens have dipped their toe in the virtual reality waters, creating a set of virtual experiences/360-degree videos that take fans where they can’t normally go – on the field, in the tunnel, to practices and more. Fans can find a VR Experience on RavensWalk at all home games and at other Ravens’ events, in which headsets transport people to amazing virtual places. 360-versions of these videos also live in the Ravens Mobile App and on the Ravens’ YouTube and Facebook channels.
Face Paint, Fan Mirror, Fan Vision
In partnership with Faceware Technologies, the Ravens developed a photo-real, virtual, face-painting experience that seamlessly integrates into the team’s mobile app. This experience – along with other new in-stadium, augmented reality activations for the 2018 season – are aimed at increasing fan engagement and excitement. With 16 preset options and more than 80 additional looks/combinations from which to choose, fans are able to express their Ravens pride like never before. And, each look is shareable on social media or mobile messaging platforms.
Fan also have access to “Fan Mirror,” a full size, portable, face recognition mirror located on RavensWalk, the M&T Bank Stadium concourse or at special events. With all the same features as in the app, Fan Mirror is a larger than life projection onto a television screen.
Finally, in 2018, Face Paint comes to the RavensVision massive in-stadium high definition 4K video boards. In-stadium cameras will use facial recognition of fans in the stands and project face paint and unique animations for the entire crowd to see.
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