With MLB baseball on hold, the Boston Red Sox turn to AR to reconnect with fans.
With nearly all nonessential services shut down due to the Coronavirus, people are desperate to reconnect with their favorite places and activities that have been rendered inaccessible while under lockdown.
This includes major sporting events. All professional leagues have been put on hold until it’s completely safe for people to once again congregate in large groups. Unfortunately, it might be awhile before we can physically visit an arena, stadium, or baseball park. In the meantime, MLB’s Boston Red Sox are using two different Snapchat AR lenses to transport fans to historic Fenway Park from the comfort their homes.
Just open up your Snapchat app and type “Red Sox” in the search bar. You’ll see two different AR lenses from which to choose from. Each lens will take you into the park where you can look around and connect more intimately with the team with the team.
The Portal to Fenway AR lens opens up a portal that will take you behind the teams fantastic old-school hand-operated scoreboard, also known as the Green Monster. It’s a piece of baseball history that any fan of the sport would love to explore. The moment you step through the portal, you’ll see a stack of tiles with worn out numbers on them; look to your right and you’ll see a seemingly-endless series of scribbles on the walls from past employees and visitors who’ve worked the scoreboard. Look down and you’ll see a beat up bench that operators sit on between innings. You’ll also see a scoreboard attendant watching a game, all mixed with the sounds of a baseball game leaking through a 16 inch x 16 inch window.
The other Lens, called Fenway Home Portal, is much different. This portal puts you right on home plate where you are greeted with a simple message from the Red Sox: “We Miss You”. When you look around in all directions, you can see that Fenway is completely devoid of people; not a soul in sight on the field nor in the stands as you pan from left to right. There’s no sounds of a game being played or echoes of fans cheering. Instead, you hear the eerie howling of wind as it makes its way through the empty seats and pathways of the empty stadium.
Both AR filters were created by the Boston Red Sox to let fans know that they are thinking of them during these incredibly challenging times. For many, baseball was a way to relax and escape the stress of their daily lives. It was a way to be with friends and family, and even give you a common bond with total strangers.
“I miss baseball right now, more than ever,” said baseball fan Nick Connor while speaking to VRScout. “I like that the Red Sox are using neat ways to reach out to us,” adding, “Every little thing helps during this craziness.”
This isn’t the first time a baseball team has released its own AR-powered Snapchat Lens. Wrigley Field previously teamed up with Netflix to promote Stranger Things by letting fans of the show turn the park into the Upside Down.
The Boston Red Sox used Snapchat Lens Studio to create their AR portals.