With sports fans directing their attention to women’s soccer as the U.S. team readies itself for a showdown with Japan in Sunday’s World Cup final, Nike has cooked up some virtual reality fun created in partnership with, er, one of the leading players from the men’s game.
In a move to promote its newly launched Hypervenom Phantom II footwear, the global sports brand this week released a VR experience that lets you step into the shoes of Barcelona soccer ace and Brazilian superstar Neymar.
The specially created 360-degree video offers a 90-second on-field experience from the perspective of Neymar himself (apparently), allowing you to feel what it’s like to dribble around defenders and send the ball flying into the back of the net.
In an attempt to broaden the entertainment value and encourage a few repeat views, Nike has slipped in several Easter eggs, among them a streaker running along the touchline being pursued by officials, which may or may not be of interest to ardent soccer fans.
For the best experience, you’ll need to knock together a Google Cardboard VR headset if you haven’t already. Alternatively, view the sequence on your smartphone or tablet, panning and dragging the device to get the full effect, or experience it on YouTube, which has been supporting 360-degree videos for a while now. We’ve also embedded it above, though be sure to take the resolution up a couple of notches or you’ll be thinking Neymar’s in serious need of a trip to the optometrist.
VR technology may still be in its infancy, but brands are wasting little time in exploring its possibilities to promote their products, so expect to come across more efforts like Nike’s as the year rolls on.