The Boston Red Sox Add More VR To Fenway Park

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The Boston Red Sox Add More VR To Fenway Park
August 12, 2017

The Boston Red Sox added to its virtual reality offerings this season with a VR batting cage at Fenway Park , partnering with virtual reality company STRIVR on an experience that enabled fans to take swings in a familiar virtual world.

 

“You are literally at home plate at Fenway Park taking batting practice on the field,” Red Sox chief marketing officer Adam Grossman said of the virtual world on the SportTechie podcast.

 

“You sort of get a feel for what it’s like to hit 100-mile-an-hour pitching or 70-mile-an-hour pitching and crank and try to do home run derby.”

There are good reasons behind the Red Sox extending their partnership with STRIVR after last year they brought to fans at Fenway Park in a replica dugout setting a two-minute spring training experience as part of an experiment. Fans on the concourse are able to wear headsets in the dugout — complete with gum, batting helmets, etc. — that marries the physical experience with the virtual one.

 

Several hundred people per game go through the experience, according to Grossman.

 

“We wanted to kind of give people that feel of what it is like to be in our spring training facility and in the locker room and taking ground balls or taking BP as part of the spring training experience,” Grossman said. “One of the things that we talk about all the time internally is, ‘How can we give fans as much access as possible?’”

 

This year, besides the batting cage experience, there is also a VR interview with Jackie Bradley Jr., as the Red Sox look to use storytelling that includes highlights in the virtual world.

 

It’s all part of Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, who has a background in the entertainment industry, making it clear he was looking to have the team and its marketing department experiment in VR, according to Grossman. Additionally, the Red Sox have gotten fan engagement results out of it through new marketing opportunities as well as the mobile batting practice experience which can be rented and used at events.

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