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How the NFL’s LA Rams advertises to in-stadium fans with Snapchat’s AR technology

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The Los Angeles Rams is using Snapchat’s augmented reality technology for advertisements on the football team’s home turf, Sofi Stadium, this season.

For one minute at home Rams games for its 2023 season, SoFi Stadium’s Infinity Screen, will transform the field into the Pacific Ocean for a Princess Cruise ad, featuring a free cruise giveaway. It’s not clear how many fans entered the giveaway, or what the financial agreement detailed.

The LA Rams’ wanted to use Snapchat’s AR technology to generate interest from advertisers across categories, according to Jennifer Prince, chief commercial officer for the The LA Rams. The team’s execs would like to seal future deals for the SoFi Stadium during home games that could include other Snapchat capabilities, including lenses. (Snap Inc. recently closed its AR division, but the company plans to continue to invest in AR for users and advertisers).

“It’s about interactivity with our fans as they’re sitting in stands,” said Prince, adding that the effort is “creating an even more kind of mixed reality experience for what is taking place in the stadium.”

Aside from the AR effort, the LA Rams are making strategic investments in generative AI by enlisting the services of Demand Sports, a platform rooted in AI technology, to help secure additional deals with advertisers as the platform does for others teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL.

The collaboration between the Los Angeles Rams and Snapchat goes back to 2020 as the Rams made became the first NFL team to use a Snapchat AR experience, to virtually allow fans wear the team’s recently unveiled uniform. And last year’s Dec. 25 game against the Denver Broncos featured an AR snowball fight at Sofi Stadium.

With this agreement, Snap wanted to make use of the time during NFL games, such as timeouts, intermissions between quarters, and moments when fans are seated awaiting the next play, said Anmol Malhotra, head of sports partnerships at Snap Inc.

“There’s a lot of time where fans are sitting in their seats and with the new generation of stadiums, we found more ways to engage these fans,” he said. “Because these activations are exclusive to Rams’ home games, marketing was kept to a minimum and is really promoted through the Rams’ blog and many of our cross-promotional social channels.”

It is unclear how much of LA Rams and Snapchat’s advertising budget is allocated to this effort as both parties declined to share budget specifics. LA Rams spent a little over $950,000 on advertising so far this year and Snapchat spent $7 million, according to Vivvix, including paid social data from Pathmatics.

Snapchat entered the technology space early, but it got lost as other social media apps like TikTok caught up and performed better, said CEO and founder of the influencer talent agency Zink Talent, Samantha Zink.

“I do feel that arenas will be the first space that Snapchat tackles and this AR partnership will spread to large festivals, concerts, activations, any space that pulls large crowds and media, and brands will want to be a part of the experience for awareness and relevance,” she said.

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