How is AR Changing the Sports Industry?

Augmented reality is disrupting sport in a number of different ways. The use of it isn’t new, however recent developments have taken immersive experiences to different levels; bringing fans into the game. Passive consumption of a particular match or game is fading into the past. Today, the spectators are as involved as the players.

Want to see it action? Here’s a closer look at how AR is changing the sports industry.

Where is it Being Used?

Augmented reality merges the real world with a computer-generated image, integrating digital layovers with the user’s surrounding environment. This innovation has enormous possibilities in a variety of areas. It’s currently transforming the face of sports as we know it.

Enhancing Experiences

Watching a live game or match in a stadium is an unmissable experience. However, there are certain elements that it cannot offer, that watching it on TV can, such as overlaid information on the players or match history.

This is where AR comes in. It can bring the gap – merging virtual with reality, even during a live game. Interactive material can be incorporated within the game itself, enhancing user experiences of particular moments.


It’s not only the experience of watching a match, but also broadcasting that can be significantly improved. Namely, it can make it more entertaining and interactive. Digital content can be placed onto a live match to make the viewing more immersive. It can also help display the trajectories of a ball with virtual lines. In short: it ensures your eyes are glued to your screen, making each game as engaging as possible.

In-Play App Features

The use of AR in an app generates more downloads, while also making it more entertaining for the user. This has been seen with teams such as the NFL, for example.

Case Studies

Let’s see this technology brought to life.

NFL Fans ‘Meet Their Idol’

The sports industry is always looking for ways to create new, immersive fan experiences. AR provides the answer. For example, through the use of a custom large screen, INDE’s AR experience allowed fans to ‘meet’ their favourite NFL stars: Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Fans could select a dance move and have a realistic, 3D encounter with the player. It involved merging a digital image of the athletes with the user’s real world environment. This is not only a clear demonstration of what augmented reality can do, but also how it can bring fans closer to their heroes.

Impress or Disappoint a Footballer

INDE also worked on a similar project with Adidas, where Tango League participants could show off their football tricks. Brasil and Real Madrid football star Marcelo Vieira was brought to life; overlaid onto the user’s environment in real time.

This gave fans the chance to ‘meet’ the star, and he was either impressed or disappointed by their skills. Since the first installation, the system has been used multiple locations, generating huge amounts of interest.

What’s Next?

It’s not just the sports industry that’s being revolutionised – many areas are transforming. This means there are a number of a hugely exciting augmented reality business opportunities opened up for innovators!

From theatre productions for the deaf to interactive shopping experiences, AR is disrupting our daily lives. A number of different companies can take advantage of the chance to develop business innovation and skills.