As the National Football League (NFL) gears up for its regular season in September, one team has taken to Snapchat to hype up fans.
The Los Angeles Rams are the first NFL team to work with Snapchat by using an AR lens to reveal their new uniforms. The lens includes a full AR experience allowing fans to virtually try-on uniforms and helmets using Snapchat’s selfie camera. Users can also flip the camera to see mini, digitized versions of Rams players wearing their new uniforms. When the players are tapped they will carry out a move, such as throwing a pass or performing a touchdown dance. The Snapchat lens includes voiceover work from a Rams stadium announcer and crowd cheers to bring the experience to life. Snapchat has rolled out the lens on its new desktop app, as well, where users can virtually wear the uniforms in video chats.
The Snapchat lens is part of a larger campaign for the team as it unveils its first major uniform redesign in 20 years. Debuting the uniforms digitally could engage stuck-at-home fans who are starved for sports entertainment during the Coronavirus pandemic. Running the campaign on social media could also help the team connect with younger sports fans who are more likely to use Snapchat, but less likely to watch sports on live TV. Creating an overlap between the platform’s audience and Ram’s target consumers could extend the campaign’s engagement rates, according to a Gartner report. The Rams working with Snapchat is part of a larger trend happening in professional football as the league turns to social media for event promotions. For the 2020 SuperBowl, the NFL used Snapchat to advertise, reaching 45 million users. More recently, the league turned to TikTok and Instagram to advertise the NFL Draft after the in-person event was replaced with a televised version. The brand created its own TikTok “Draft Day Challenge” for the event, which received 580 million views.
As the most popular sport in the United States, football has a large and loyal audience. While live sports are on hold during the pandemic, using social media to engage with eager fans could help teams like the LA Rams connect with its fanbase ahead of the new season.