THE GRAND NATIONAL
360° VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS for ITV
Dir: Ed Quintrell

 
 
One of the aims of ITV Racing’s on-air coverage is to give viewers ‘the best seat in the house’, and this exciting VR highlights package will immerse consumers in the unique live event atmosphere The Randox Health Grand National creates. We’re delighted to be working with VR City and Goodstuff once again to bring this experience to Racing fans.
— Ed Ross - Head of Marketing & Media, ITV
 
 

The Challenge

First and foremost ITV wanted to bring the Grand National to a new and younger audience. Secondly, they wanted to get content out there while it was still relevant. Fast turnaround 360 video was how.

ITV Win The Horse Racing

After 30 years away, 2017 marked the return of horse racing to ITV. The broadcaster’s mission is to offer racing fans the BEST SEAT IN THE HOUSE showing that NOTHING COMES CLOSE. Certainly, this was a job for East City.

 
 
The popularity of the VR highlights package for Cheltenham Races demonstrates how brilliant VR is as a way of giving viewers an entirely new perspective on their favourite sport. Racing is renowned for its thrill and excitement, so it’s great that we can bring this to people through the use of new technology.
— Laura Moorcraft - Business Director, Goodstuff
 
 

The Grand National 360 Highlights

In order to deliver this promise, ITV engaged VR City to develop and produce 360º highlights that would deliver a completely new perspective on The Grand National. Working alongside Aintree, British Horse Racing Association and Professional Jockeys Association, we gained access all areas. As a result, we filmed in the jockeys weighing room, the parade ring, the winners' enclosure and along the race track. Importantly, and bringing story to the content, we worked with ITV’s presenting talent including Oli Bell, Ed Chamberlin and Victoria Pendleton. We covered all these bases with 8 camera rigs, making this one of the most complex VR shoots we've done.

Fast Turnaround Work Flow

Furthermore, utilising VR City’s expertise in fast turnaround and live VR event production, we were able to shoot, stitch and edit highlights from the Randox Health Grand National at speed, delivering next day for publishing on Facebook 360 and YouTube 360 platforms. Some would say this is an oxymoron in VR.

 
 
It is incredibly exciting to be working with ITV and Goodstuff once again to bring The Randox Grand National to its fans in a virtual reality experience. Bringing VR City’s market-leading expertise of live and fast turnaround high-quality VR production for major events to ITV’s first-class horseracing coverage means that hours after seeing the race on TV fans can experience a totally unique and immersive view point, bringing them even closer to the people’s race and all it has to offer.
— Ashley Cowan - CEO, VR City
 
 
 

Success

So, 48 hours after the Grand National the 360 highlights had been watched over 1.4 million times. Without doubt, we disrupted the usual post-Grand National coverage. To top things off, the content has also been nominated for Best Sport VR at the Content Innovation Awards in Cannes. This is what we call success.