- The Los Angeles Rams this week became the first NFL team to create an augmented reality (AR) experience on Snapchat as the league prepares to kick off the regular season on Sept. 10. The team revealed its new uniforms with AR lenses that Snapchat users can share in the app for a limited time, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- The AR experience lets Snapchat users virtually try on the uniforms using a selfie lens, which also lets users see themselves with or without the team's redesigned helmet. The lens also is available worldwide on desktop computers equipped with the Snap Camera app for video chats.
- Snapchat users can flip the view to their rear-facing smartphone cameras to see digitized versions of Rams quarterback Jared Goff and defensive lineman Aaron Donald wearing their new uniforms. The AR lens first shows renderings of both players overlaid on a Snapchat user's real surroundings. Tapping on Goff will show him throwing a pass, while selecting Donald will initiate a dance celebration. The lens comes with a voiceover from an official Rams stadium announcer and real crowd noise from games, per the announcement.
The Los Angeles Rams' AR experience on Snapchat is among a series of firsts. The team aims to build excitement for the upcoming season with its first major redesign of a uniform since 2000, and the inauguration of the $5 billion SoFi Stadium that started construction four years ago. By launching a campaign on Snapchat, the team seeks to engage a younger audience that has many other entertainment options and is less likely than older generations to watch football on live TV. For the Rams, the Snapchat integration could be a welcome source of content for sports-starved fans. Unfortunately, the team's new logo has become the focus of derision as people spout off about it on social media, The Guardian reported.
The Rams' AR experience follows efforts by the NFL to reach younger audiences through digital platforms like Snapchat, Reddit and TikTok. The league created AR lenses and filters on Snapchat during the last Super Bowl weekend, reaching 45 million users of the photo-messaging app. Average time spent on NFL-partnered content on Snapchat jumped more than 80% for the 2019-2020 season from a year earlier, and 90% of viewers were younger than 35, per data supplied by parent company Snap. The company this year touted its reach among sports fans, though the coronavirus pandemic later disrupted the sports marketing industry as leagues suspended operations.
The NFL last year added Reddit to its digital marketing channels to connect with fans who use the online platform to see sports news and chat with others. The league also began collaborating with TikTok as part of a multiyear deal to distribute content on the viral video app that's popular with U.S. teens. Last month, it ran several promotions on TikTok to coincide with this year's draft of college players, including a hashtag challenge that has spurred 4.3 billion views and counting. The NFL's #superbowlliv challenge that urged football fans to share their team spirit during Super Bowl weekend continues to rack up views even months after its rollout, pointing to how interactive experiences on social platforms can drive extended results.