It is Super Bowl Sunday and you have the best seats in the house – your couch on the 50-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, a linebacker stuffs a running back for a three-yard loss. 

“I would have called an audible,” someone next to you says. You turn toward the voice. It is Peyton Manning, former Super Bowl quarterback.

“Yeah, he should have seen that linebacker stunting,” says someone on your other side. It is Eli Manning, also a former Super Bowl quarterback and brother of Peyton.

Currently, you can only get the Manning brothers’ insights on their television show. However, through virtual reality, they may be coming over to your house for future games.

What Is Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a three-dimensional simulation of the real world. By wearing a VR helmet or goggles, you can get the experience of being at or in an event – even if it is happening halfway around the world. In the example above, you feel like you are at the Super Bowl when you are actually on your couch wearing your VR goggles.

A close cousin of VR is augmented reality (AR) which superimposes graphics over your view.

Growing Market

The demand for virtual reality applications continues to rise.

“The global virtual reality market size was valued at USD 21.83 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.0% from 2022 to 2030,” according to Grand View Research

A survey by Altman Solon found that watching live sports is growing in the United States. Further, interest in VR and AV sports viewing is also increasing.

More Americans are watching sports today (58 percent) than they did in 2020 (51 percent), according to Altman Solon. In addition, more than three-fourths of headset owners want to watch sports in VR, according to the report. 

“In this dynamic global market, leagues, teams, and media partners have shown a willingness to try new things, from augmented and immersive viewing experiences to new blockchain-based ownership and monetization models, to attract and retain fans – and the survey points to these efforts having the potential to pay off,” said Altman Solon Director Matt Del Percio. 

CES Spotlights VR Advances

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023, held earlier this month, backed Del Percio’s contention.  The trade show featured an increased number of Prototypes and new VR devices.

Even a staple of film photography presented a new use for its Free Viewpoints VR product at CES. Canon, debuted an original immersive film by M. Night Shyamalan.  

How To Invest In VR Sports

Virtual reality is a broad field with expanding applications. Even in the sports niche, there are e-games, game training simulations, and fitness. Beyond sports, VR is being used for other entertainment events and business communication.

Some of the biggest players in AR sports such as NextVR and YVBR have been acquired by larger companies. As a result, investing in those larger companies, such as Meta Platforms (META), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), or Sony (SONY) offers opportunities in AR sports and beyond.

 

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Max Erkiletian

Max K. Erkiletian began writing for newspapers while still in high school. He went on to become an award-winning journalist and co-founder of the print magazine Free Bird. He has written for a wide range of regional and national publications as well as many on-line publications. That has afforded him the opportunity to interview a variety of prominent figures from former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank Paul Volker to Blues musicians Muddy Waters and B. B. King. Max lives in Springfield, MO with his wife Karen and their two cats. He spends as much time as possible with his kids, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.