This might be the geekiest giveaway in sports history.
The Minnesota Twins are giving away 5,000 cardboard virtual reality viewers to fans attending the July 29 game against the Chicago White Sox. Once users download the MLB.com Ballpark mobile app and “check in” to the game, they’ll be able to access virtual reality videos with the cardboard viewers and their iOS or Android smartphones.
“We’re excited to bring fans closer to the action than they have ever been,” Chris Iles, Senior Director of Content for the Twins, said in a statement. “This technology will allow our fans to become totally immersed within the team, giving them views into our players’ lives and routines that they would otherwise never get to experience.”
The Twins worked with Los Angeles-based startup SuperSphereVR to produce the virtual reality videos.
“VR has the ability to bring a fan into an experience in a way that nothing else can.” SuperSphereVR founder Lucas Wilson said in a statement.
The Twins also partnered with T-Mobile for the promotion, as representatives from the wireless carrier will be at the game helping fans assemble the cardboard viewers, which is a licensed version of Google Cardboard.
This is the latest example of virtual reality technology being used in the sports world. The applications range from the fan experience, to recruiting, to training. Just today, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told FOX Business that “I think the next big step for us, as all sports, is going to be virtual reality.”