Last week here at the Gridiron Tech blog, we examined how five NFL franchises have become early adapters to augmented reality (AR) technology. In this edition, we learn that yet another team has incorporated AR into its stadium, plus we take a look at how virtual reality (VR) played a role in Syracuse’s upset of Clemson and an update on the latest Amazon Prime figures for the Thursday Night Football livestream package.

Niners embrace AR: San Francisco has redefined the meaning of a souvenir cup. Earlier this month, in a partnership with ampm convenience stores, the team began selling augmented reality souvenir cups at Levi Stadium. Fans who download the 49ers team app are then able to hold their mobile device over the cup and watch San Francisco Super Bowl highlights or player videos. In addition to the content available via the cups, fans also receive 49-cent fountain refills at participating ampm locations all season long. It’s the latest attempt by organizations to keep fans more engaged when they attend a sporting event. This initiative incorporates new technology while also collecting fans’ personal info so the team can entice with future offerings.

Virtual Reality goes Orange: After knocking off the defending champion Clemson Tigers, the Syracuse Orangemen can also stake claim as the top football program in the nation to utilize virtual reality. Those lucky fans unable to attend the game and storm the field after the win can now relive the moment in VR. That’s because the game was captured by cameras in full 360-degrees, which gives fans a complete view of everything occurring in the stadium, as if they were sitting in the front row. In 2015, the Orange partnered with EON Sports to implement VR training for their players. Starting quarterback Eric Dungey has been using the technology for additional preparation. “It’s basically like going through practice again,” Dungey said. “I love going through practice. I love practicing so it’s basically like doing that all over again, but it’s easier on the body. You know, you kind of just get mental reps.” The extra practice paid off, as Dungey totaled 339 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over the Tigers.

Amazon Prime results are in: We have previously chronicled the TNF livestream experiment by Amazon Prime in this space and wanted to provide an interesting update on its reach and impact. Through four simulcasts, the e-commerce giant has an average minute audience (AMA) of 374K viewers with an average viewing time of 51.25 minutes, according to this report. Each game reached viewers in more than 180 countries. Amazon continues to be aggressive in the marketplace, acquiring the video rights to ATP tennis in UK and audio feeds for Bundesliga soccer games. The next move for the NFL could be to offer the TNF package as a multi-year deal, which would be very appealing to the Amazon brand. We will continue to provide updates on the latest livestream deals as they develop.

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