Optus augmented reality engages thousands of WAFL fans

Optus and Yahoo Creative Studios create avatar experience for fans of the WA Football League grand final, securing thousands of downloads and views

Thousands of footy fans got into a rather different kind of digital spirit during this year’s Optus WA Football League (WAFL) Grand Final on 1 October.  

The telecommunications giant designed an augmented reality (AR) fuelled, in-stadium experience allowing fans of the game to create a lifelike avatar of themselves donning their favourite team’s kit and colours. To do this, consumers scanned a QR code and took a quick selfie, which was then transformed into the avatar. The digital characters could be shared via social media channels, and those at the game also had the ability to upload a photo of friend if they weren’t in attendance.    

As well as an engagement tool, the activation was about showcasing 5G network capabilities provided by Optus at the stadium. The experience was created in partnership with Yahoo Creative Studios and combined emerging technologies including WebXR, customer 3D avatar creation and animation.  

Optus said one in six people attending the event created an avatar, with average user engagement of 4 minutes and 58 seconds. A total of 5100 downloads and saves was achieved out of 17,700 total views. The choice of team was fairly evenly split, with 56 per cent opting for South Freemantle colours and 44 per cent opting for Subiaco.  

Credit: Optus

Optus VP marketing, Mel Hopkins, said the avatar is the beginning of new opportunities to engage fans and get them closer to the action. She hinted more applications of 5G to deliver immersive experiences at the stadium are on the cards.  

“We love to create moments of magic and this activation at the Optus WAFL Grand Final was all about bringing fans together in a fun, interactive and unique way,” Hopkins said. “It was fantastic to see people engaging with this technology, having a laugh with their mates over their avatar’s likeness and sharing the experience both on the big screen at Optus Stadium and through their own social channels.”  

Optus Stadium CEO, Mike McKenna, agreed the AR campaign was another example of how technology can be used to engage consumers in and around live sport and entertainment.  

“Exciting partnerships like this one are a great way to bring people together and enhance the stadium experience, whether they be in person or via technology and innovation,” he said. “For fans that miss out, we’re excited to be integrating this into the ever-popular daily Optus Stadium Tour from late-October, allowing even more stadium visitors to create their own lifelike fan avatar giving them a lasting memento of their visit to the world’s most beautiful stadium.”  

Yahoo Creative Studios A/NZ head of brand, Zoe Cocker, said the in-stadium fan experience is the latest example of how immersive technology can add a whole new dimension to watching sport.  

“Aussie fans are so passionate about their sport and love getting involved in the game. We’re proud to have lent our expertise and worked closely with our partners like Ready Player Me, to provide a new way for fans to take this passion to the next level,” he said.  

The Optus Avatar was the second Optus experience to debut at the Optus Stadium. In January, the telco launched an interactive Willy Wagtail 5G experience as part of the onsite stadium tour.

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