With the NBA All Star game coming to Toronto this summer, there is a lot of chatter from and toward the sponsors. This event is the big times, with the NBA doing a fantastic job surrounding the event with multiple layers of activity and interest. It will be interesting to see how it all works out at the end. (Other than the featured act being Sting, not Drake )
Sports (watching, not playing so much) has always garnered a disproportionate amount of sponsorship, with MMA being the latest hot ticket and online gaming coming up fast (admittedly, two very different crowds, both enjoying a good beating…). The high emotion of live activity and the personal loyalty to a team, player or city is hard to match. Only live music comes close and for the much desired demographics, together they steal the lion’s share.
What comes next? Is it possible that personal virtual reality could begin to displace live events? Can the promise of an immersive, first person experience, found in a headset in ones home, could become a better connection than real pros playing real games? And what does this mean for sponsorship?
As paid product placement has worked to a degree within movies and television, is it possible that sponsors will want to be included within VR? Of course, the sponsor messages could be tailored to the individual viewer and also based on the type of activity being enjoyed. It is possible that different levels of play and cost could become available, based on the viewers willingness to put up with in-story exposure.
Nothing is going to top the Superbowl, World Cup, Olympics for a while yet, but these are few and far between, and it seems that technology is going to be offering more choices soon