As its new stand opens, primary sponsor Standard Chartered Bank has released a stunning 360-degree tour of Anfield, called ‘Inside Anfield’, narrated by club legend John Barnes (and also featuring former forward Robbie Fowler).
As well as featuring an innovative peek at most of the historic stadium’s iconic spots and famous features, the virtual reality video experience also includes one of manager Jürgen Klopp’s team talks in the home dressing room, footage of the players heading for the pitch down the famous tunnel (under the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign) and, of course, the recently redeveloped Main Stand (along with a rousing rendition of the supporters’ anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
The activation, running under Standard Chartered’s umbrella ‘Football Is Better Together’ concept, is launching immediately prior to the club’s first Premier League home game of the season, against champions Leicester City and is thus a ripe opportunity to showcase the new stand.
The virtual experience was launched on 7 September and posted on both the sponsor and the club’s social channels – including YouTube,
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 8, 2016
— Standard Chartered (@StanChart) September 7, 2016
The content, which was developed with sponsorship agency Octagon and content creation company Milk Money, all drives viewers online to find out more about the stadium, its history, stories and the redevelopment at www.sc.com/insideanfield
Plus, ‘Inside Anfield’will also be available on-site at Anfield for match-day fans to experience using VR headsets on-site at the redeveloped ground.
‘We’re very proud to have the opportunity to bring this extraordinary Anfield experience to Liverpool fans around the world. This innovative technology really puts you right in the stadium,’ commented Standard Chartered retail banking CEO Karen Fawcett.
‘This is just one element of activity Liverpool FC and Standard Chartered will deliver throughout the year for Liverpool FC, according to the club.’
We have seen plenty of leading edge VR and 360° sports sponsorship work in the last year or so, so the technology itself is increasingly seen as not enough in itself to ensure such spots constitute genuinely compelling content.
So it is becoming increasingly vital to use unique selling points, to offer exclusive access, dynamic footage and, above all, to ensure VR work tells emotional and powerful stories.
This initiative certainly does that.
Of course some people are still sufficiently fascinated by the evolution of virtual reality, while many Liverpool fans are as hungry for content as they are for trophies: either way, with 71,022 YouTube views, 11K likes and 5K shares on Facebook and Twitter likes and retweets in the 1000s on Liverpool’s platforms alone within less than 24 hours the early engagement statistics are encouraging.
As is typical within the sports space (and especially in football), engagement through the club’s channels is outstripping interactions via the sponsor’s touchpoints.
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