Cheltenham Festival 360° Highlights

360° Video for ITV

When it comes to thrills, anticipation and atmosphere, nothing comes close to the Cheltenham Festival, so we wanted to give viewers who couldn’t be there the opportunity to be there with us, right at the heart of the action.
— Ed Ross - Head of Marketing & Media, ITV

The Challenge

2017 saw British horse racing return to ITV for the first time in 30 years. Their mission was to bring the sport to a wider and younger audience. They want to give viewers the Best Seat In The House and to show that Nothing Comes Close. So they came to VR City to help promote their TV coverage of the 4 day Cheltenham Festival.

The Solution

When ITV came knocking with one of their most prized assets we knew that we had to create something special. The challenge was to get new and younger eyeballs on the sport and encourage them to watch the TV broadcast of the Festival. So we decided that a 360° highlights video of each day of the Festival, posted on Facebook each evening, would cut through and give people a totally new view of the sport. But that is no easy feat. Generally, 360° video is considered to take a while to create. After all, we are normally filming on 6 times the amount of cameras. However through our experience in the medium and also our history at East City Films of creating fast turnaround highlights packages we knew it would be possible.

As a leader in entertainment, we feel ITV are particularly well-positioned to utilise VR as a way of giving viewers an entirely new perspective of the content at their disposal, and Cheltenham Festival leapt out as the perfect opportunity to utilise the technology. The sport is renowned for its thrill and excitement, so it’s great that we can bring this to people through their mobile phones.
— Laura Moorcraft - Business Director, Goodstuff

Fast Turnaround 360° Highlights

Firstly it was important to work out what we were going to cover each day. Thankfully we gained access to pretty much everywhere. We were able to film the weigh-in, the weigh out, the races themselves and the winner's parade. The crew had access to the ITV presenters. We had all the tools we needed, we just needed to figure out how to capture everything and to get the videos finished by 7 pm that same day. So with some serious planning and a reasonable amount of manpower, we created what we believe were the first ever fast turnaround 360 highlights of an international sporting event.

The Results

The results were quite simply incredible. We gained over a million views on Facebook and YouTube across the 4 days. The content was also nominated for Best VR Sports Coverage and the DTV Europe Content Innovation Awards in Cannes.

It is incredibly exciting to work with ITV to bring the Cheltenham Festival to its fans in daily virtual reality experiences. Being able to offer people at home the chance to feel like they are at Cheltenham, fully immersed in all the excitement from just a few hours earlier, really is what VR is all about. Delivering daily highlights in VR is truly ground-breaking and opens the door to fans to get closer than ever before to the day’s events.
— Ashley Cowan - CEO & Co-Founder, East City