(above) An extreme close-up of an all computer generated face of Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing, created by MacInnes Scott for a trilogy of animated feature films in production for theatrical release in 2016.
By stepping into virtual reality we are building a parallel NBA metaverse - a synthesis of the real and virtual worlds. This sounds like a massive undertaking - it is - but each step towards its creation comes with enormous unlocked revenue for the NBA, the teams and the players.
The players and teams are the building blocks of the virtual NBA metaverse. Every player in the NBA will be digitally scanned and a CG photo-realistic avatar will be created. These uncannily lifelike avatars will be animated using the real time motion data captured at the live basketball game. However, once the avatars have been created they can be animated to do anything within 3D virtual and augmented reality as well as the 2D television, print and new media. For example, Shaquille O’Neal’s avatar could be animated for a 2D AT&T commercial without the real Shaq ever stepping in front of a camera. Another example of advertising that may be integrated into 3D VR could be a CG Shaq holding a branded drink when he is taking a break off court during a game.
Creating avatars is a process familiar to every player in the NBA - they’ve already done it for EA for their NBA video games. The crucial difference now is that firstly, the quality of the avatars will have advanced. Second, and most significantly, the rights to exploit and monetize those avatars is retained by NBA, the teams and the players.
A multi-billion dollar idea:
- By creating a 3D photo-real likeness of every player we are making them immortal.
- No one can predict how people will interact with media in fifty years but we will have created assets and IP for any future media platform that comes into existence.
- In doing so we vastly increase their value and we do this without them having to do anything.
- The value of these assets could also be realized within their lifetime by floating their digital likeness on the stock market, raising millions of dollars based on future use of their asset.
Every single element within the virtual NBA metaverse is now an asset to be exploited in any number of ways. Here are just a few:
- VR and AR live sports
- VR and AR ‘best moments in the NBA’
- 3D immersive and interactive theme park experiences
- VR and AR basketball instruction games
- AR content for mobile and tablet devices
- 2D video/movie content for established and new media platforms
- 2D print content
- Video games for all game platforms
- VR and AR games
- Fantasy leagues: favorite players join the fan’s fantasy team in a fantasy league
A Powerful Tool For Branding, Sponsors and Advertisers
Computer generated VR and AR gives us the ability to create a tailor-made branded environment that targets region specific consumers. For example, consumers in China will see only Chinese branding on the court floor and banners, while consumers in Brazil will only see Brazilian brands. This technique will significantly multiply the branding and sponsorship opportunities from a single sports event.
Sports arenas and basketball courts could be branded and rebranded with a single click
Every element within the virtual environment becomes an asset to be manipulated at will and exploited. Sports attire can be updated, branded and re-branded with just a couple of clicks. Fan and user interaction with brands can be accurately tracked.
For years now the video game industry has been harnessing the power of big data to improve and help monetize their products. Facebook, Google, Netflix and Amazon use the data they collect on their consumers as a cornerstone of their business model. The virtual reality industry is no different in this regard.
It’s possible to analyse user data for micro-transactions, time stamps, social media, price points, payment systems, in-game advertising and virtual goods. In real time we can monitor the number of active daily users, number of monthly users and the ratio between the two. We can rate the level of user engagement by the amount of time they spend with the product, trace the infection rate of viral growth as the core and casual user base expands. The revenue per user can be calculate accurately down to the last cent, and ‘user evangelists’ can be identified who can act product accelerators.
At MacInnes Scott we are developing creative solutions for next generation entertainment technology that will be driving the future of innovation in the global market. We analyze, develop and partner in media enterprises towards the goal of long term strategic growth.