It’s been an incredibly tough year for football fans.
Loyal and passionate supporters who have spent years - or even decades - following their teams are currently prohibited from attending matches due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
However, EE and BT Sport have launched some exciting ‘game-changing’ features which will help fans to feel reconnected with their favourite stadiums.
One of the most revolutionary new features is Stadium Experience, which is part of EE’s Match Day Experience and will provide customers with a revolutionary new way to watch sport, through the UK’s number one 5G network, via the BT Sport app.
Fans will have the opportunity to use an ‘Augmented Reality’ doorway in the BT Sport app to be transported from wherever they are into exclusive behind the scenes experiences of the current Premier League stadiums.
For example, a Manchester United fan can use the app to enjoy the full Old Trafford experience.
As well as having virtual access to the tunnel area, supporters will also get an immersive look inside the trophy room, the dugout, plus both home and away dressing rooms.
Stadium Experience is one of six features that comprise the newly-unveiled Match Day Experience.
Fans will also be able to watch matches, plus see and chat with three other friends, alongside any BT Sport broadcast, thanks to a split-screen interface.
A new 360 service will provide fans with the chance to watch games with picture quality never seen before on mobile devices, without the experience of buffering thanks to 5G.
EE 5G customers will also be able to access team line-ups, formations and in-game stats brought to life through stunning Augmented Reality from wherever they are watching the action via Match Day Live.
Manager Mode, meanwhile, will allow fans to see real-time graphics augmented on the pitch. This feature provides informative and insightful stats, such as a mini-map tracking the positions of all players for a tactical viewpoint, plus player names, player speeds and more such as tracers marking the path of shots.
Marc Allera, Chief Executive, BT’s consumer division, said: “Our new Match Day Experience features will provide an amazing array of ways to enhance their sports viewing – over the UK’s number one network for 5G.
“They can now watch the action live with their mates thanks to integrated video chat. Get closer to the game with the best ever 360° views, and view real-time stats and graphics projected on the pitch and around each player with Manager Mode. What’s more - only with us can they also get up-close and personal, with advanced Match Day Live AR features – ensuring that when they’re out and about, they can always get the best seats in the house.”
Rio Ferdinand, BT Sport pundit and former England captain, said: “At this moment of social distancing and crowd-less stadia, Match Day Experience gets fans closer than ever to the sports they love. The features build on what is already the best sports App anywhere and will enable EE customers to enjoy the most immersive sports broadcasts seen to date.”
On Stadium Experience, Ferdinand told GIVEMESPORT: “It’s something that gives you that added bit of value and insight. It brings you a bit closer to the stadium and takes you inside the stadium.”
Asked if Old Trafford and Elland Road had changed much from when he was a Man Utd and Leeds player, the legendary defender added: “Yeah, massively. Even the gadgets used inside the dressing rooms, the size of them - everything’s changed. It’s really insightful.”
The new features will be available for West Ham’s Premier League clash against Manchester City on October 24, live on BT Sport.
*Match Day Experience on the BT Sport app, the UK’s most immersive sports viewing service, will be inclusive for new customers taking the Full Works iPhone plan with the new 5G iPhone on EE.
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