Fans are back in NFL stadiums, and the league is greeting them with new immersive fan experiences driven, chief among them a mixed-reality panther that pounces around Bank of America Stadium, home to the Carolina Panthers.
The pregame presentation saw a massive mixed reality panther jump into the stadium, climb on top of a massive video board installed at one of the endzones, tear down a (virtual) New York Jets banner, pounce onto midfield to rip up the enemy banner and propel itself onto the videoboard at the other end via the goalpost before finally leaping out of the stadium.
Check it out:
Check out our new mixed-reality panther that debuted today 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/8DwEvam9KM
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) September 12, 2021
Live events and virtual experience company The Famous Group was responsible for this presentation, which included utilizing some of the same technology being used by virtual production studios.
According to a LinkedIn post from The Famous Group, the company cited technology partners Quince Imaging, Zoic Studios, Epic Games, Unreal Engine, stYpe and Pixotope as contributing to the display.
As far as how the company pulled this off, there aren’t many details, but fans could only see the virtual panther on the video boards superimposed on the stadium via camera tracking technology.
The same company worked with the Baltimore Ravens in 2019 to create a similar experience in which a Raven flies around M&T Bank Stadium.
We debuted a new mixed-reality feature tonight as part of the gameday fan experience. 😈 pic.twitter.com/26SzvWIOEx
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 13, 2019
The company offered a behind-the-scenes look at how the Ravens experience was produced, and we can only assume similar technology and processes were used to create the virtual panther.
What a night! Here’s a “Behind the Scenes” look at the #MixedReality fan experience we created for the @Ravens. And a big thank you to everyone involved who made it possible for the @NFL community to get its first glimpse into this new technology. pic.twitter.com/4xEa8XJ3MH
— The Famous Group (@FamousGroupLA) December 17, 2019