Vntana holograms have enabled fans to see hologram versions of themselves throwing touchdown passes and spinning basketballs on their fingers, as well as interacting with deceased Pro Football Hall of Fame members. Those experiences could become more common with new partnerships the company is forming with sports facilities.
Vntana kiosks have been placed in the luxury suites sponsored by Lexus in NBA venues like the Staples Center, United Center, Verizon Center and Madison Square Garden. It’s those kinds of in-arena activations that Vntana wants to see more of.
“Our technology provides a unique, VIP fan experience,” said Ashley Crowder, CEO of Vntana. “We also collect data for advertising. The hologram is the ‘wow factor.’ The back end is what provides lead generation for our brand clients. Brands are our primary customers. Brands who sponsor sporting events have been huge for us because they are all trying to engage consumers and capture their attention to get lead generation from that. That’s why they are all spending their sponsorship dollars at sporting events.”
Lexus has enjoyed a high conversion rate of sales leads, more than double according to Crowder, from its use of Vntana tech. The personnel of the facilities that this technology has been utilized in have started to take notice.
“We are starting to work directly with venues to provide our technology as a tool for these sponsors,” Crowder explained. “Through selling our systems directly into sports venues, the facilities can sell advertising space on the hologram displays. Some venues are looking to purchase our displays because they see the value, the fun consumers have had with them, and the success of the displays. Buying them allows these venues to use them with a variety of different sponsors.”
The kiosks, which also now appear in Lexus-sponsored areas in Angels Stadium in Anaheim, Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles and Petco Park in San Diego, also allow for fans to share their hologram experience over social media. That’s where the majority of user information is captured and then through the contracts Vntana has with brands, sold for sales leads.
Lexus isn’t the only brand that has utilized the technology. Aquafina, a PepsiCo holding, used a display at Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs’ home opener this year. Fans were able to pitch a virtual baseball to a hologram version of the Cubs’ Addison Russell, who would hit the ball into a virtual Aquafina bottle.
While Crowder was unable to name the venues that her company is negotiating with to put units in on a permanent basis because the negotiations are ongoing, she stated that getting the product into sporting venues is the company’s main focus.
“We feel that we provide a value that no other technology does,” Crowder elaborated. “Our business is augmented reality without wearables. Everybody in the room can see and interact with the hologram together. You don’t have to wear a headset. This technology makes a lot more sense for stadiums because of that.”
As selling sports entertainment becomes increasingly less about watching games and more about the experience of being in the arena, holograms are poised to enhance those sales pitches to both fans and sponsors.
“Everything is about experiences now,” Crowder added. “Advertising budgets are moving more toward experiential activations now because younger consumers demand it. We define luxury as an experience now. Holograms allow these venues to give experiences that were never possible before with some of consumers’ favorite athletes. As our technology evolves, it will become easier to set up in more places.”