England sponsor O2 creates Oculus Rift immersive experience for rugby fans

England Rugby sponsor O2 is promising to take experience of the sport to a whole new level by immersing fans fully within the team England using a virtual reality headset.

The telecoms firm has created a  “Wear the Rose” game for the a Oculus Rift-made virtual reality goggles that lets fans feel they are a part of the national team. Audiences will be given a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the England team set-up – participating in training drills directed by coach Mike Catt, receiving a team talk from captain Chris Robshaw or getting tackled by hooker Tom Youngs.

The tie-up is part of O2’s marketing around the RBS Six Nations tournament. The brand has traditionally used the event to experiment with emerging channels such as mobile apps and wireless technology. Last year, it used the tournament to launch its O2 Matchday app, which streams what referees are saying during matches directly to smartphones.

O2 claims it is the first ever sports tie-up with the Oculus Rift. The technology platform has also worked with Nissan in the past on an experience that lets users play with a car they have designed.

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