NFL & Google Expand Relationship with New VR Series


NEW YORK: The NFL (National Football League) and Google have expanded their partnership, with NFL Films set to produce a nine-part virtual reality (VR) series.

The series, which marks the NFL’s first foray into producing VR content, will shine a light on what it’s like to be in the NFL, following players, coaches, executives, cheerleaders and even the fans. It explores how each group prepares for game day.

The first episode of the VR series will be available via the NFL channel on YouTube on November 24, Thanksgiving Day. Later this year, episodes will also be available via the NFL VR app designed for Daydream, Google’s high-quality mobile VR offering, along with other immersive content experiences. The series will be the first episodic sports program in VR.

The series is currently in production and is being shot using Jump, Google’s 360-degree camera and capture system. Episode one will follow the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line as they prepare for an upcoming matchup. Other episodes will follow the Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, offer insight into football culture in Green Bay and give insight into the San Diego Chargers organization.

“We are always looking for new ways to engage with our fans,” said Vishal Shah, the senior VP of digital media at the NFL. “Virtual reality is an emerging platform that enables content experiences with a truly unique vantage point that brings fans closer to the game. It’s an exciting new medium to explore as we look to evolve and grow our offerings, and this partnership with Google is an important step in that direction.”

“This series will give fans an opportunity to connect with the NFL like never before, whether they are on YouTube or using Google’s virtual reality headset, Daydream View,” said Amit Singh, the VP of Google VR. “We’re thrilled to work with the NFL to capture the series with Jump and bring it to YouTube and Daydream.”

“NFL Films has always been known for telling great football stories and capturing the emotional essence of our sport,” said Ross Ketover, senior executive at NFL Films. “Now using Google VR technology, there’s potential to do that in a whole new way and we’re excited to bring that perspective to our fans.”