Gatorade’s goal has long been to help athletes reach peak performance levels, but its latest project makes it so you can hit a walk-off home run in a Major League Baseball game. Sort of.
The sports drink titan is entering the world of virtual reality with a new project that puts fans in the body and mind of Bryce Harper during an MLB at-bat, using the recent breakthroughs in VR technology to let your phone transport you to the batter’s box at Nationals Park.
The company’s senior director of consumer engagement, Kenny Mitchell, hopes that the experience, which includes Harper’s thoughts on each pitch throughout the at-bat, provides a full sensory experience for fans, unlike anything they have even done before.
Gatorade reached out to OMD Zero Code, to help with this project, which director Dario Riciti said required a 14-camera rig and three months of post-production following the two-night shoot at Nationals Park.
After attending a demonstration, I can attest that all the hard work was worth it, creating an experience that lets you feel as though you just ripped an opposite-field home run, no matter how poor your hand-eye coordination, or how few fast-twitch muscles you have.
To launch the project, Gatorade sent Samsung GearVR headsets out to an RBI League team near D.C. to try out, and added a special surprise when they removed the headsets to find Harper right there in front of them.
Fans looking to jump into the Washington star’s head can do so using YouTube360 and a Google Cardboard virtual reality rig.