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Gatorade’s ‘Beat The Blitz’ VR NFL experience

Gatorade has released a virtual reality American football game that aims to demonstrate the effects of dehydration on the body, and the impact that has on their performance.

The experience puts participants in a quarterback’s shoes, throwing passes as they’re being coached by NFL legend Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning was shot in a 360° against green screens using 106 cameras, 8 microphones, 18 lights and 27 PCs.  Through this process, they were able to present Manning as a complete 3D model, or hologram, inside the virtual environment.

 

Participants can also dodge attacking ‘blitzes’, and travel through the (virtual) physical body to see how dehydration actually works.

Reception

 

Although the experience was initially rolled out at the recent NFL Combine in Indianopolis as a way to reach high school talent, Beat The Blitz is available free on Steam if you have a VR headset at home, and it’s received pretty decent reviews — especially as a piece of branded content:

This is probably the best advertisement game out there. First of all, the ad in VR is well presented. Nice graphics, information is straightforward and informative. Second, the tutorial is easy to follow. And lastly, the game itself is pretty fun. It’s not the best VR QB game (it’s still 2MD VR), but it’s up there. Plus it’s free. As far as the advertisement, you can pretty much not see it again after the required first viewing. You can play the game directly after that.

So nice job, Gatorade. Any other companies that want to step up to the plate and offer free VR games, make sure you follow this example. A fun, simple game that is polished. Your ad is not intrusive, but well done and enjoyable. You offer something good, for our time in listening to your product pitch. This is how you do it.

Rating 7/10 It’s free and it’s high quality, even if it’s short, there’s a lot of replay value for better personal scores (no global leaderboards)

– Steam user, FastLawyer

This YouTube reviewer also gives us some good insights, and a great view into the game in action:

Screenshots

(Screenshots gathered via Steam)

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Not the first

This experience is not too different to Sleep Number’s VR football game. As the ‘Official Sleep + Wellness Partner Of The NFL’, they leveraged that sponsorship by building the biggest multiplayer VR football game to date, at this year’s Super Bowl. Similarly, participants were tasked with throwing balls towards targets for success, but critically, at a certain point were hit with the effects of sleep deprivation. This demonstrated the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, presumably best achieved with the help of a Sleep Number mattress.

You can check that activation out in the video below: