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Snapchat at the Super Bowl: NFL Integrating New Tech for First Time at SB LVIII

The latest AR & API technology from Snapchat will allow fans at the Super Bowl to watch and interact during the Big Game in entirely new ways.

The NFL will integrate Snapchat’s Camera Kit Technology for the first time Sunday at Super Bowl LVIII inside Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, the technology giant said Wednesday, a major moment for one of Snap’s earliest brand partners.

Stadium screens and scoreboards will show various custom Snap lenses, like Las Vegas-themed helmets on fans for both the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, that will be visible during the game, not just during commercial breaks. Top Snap stars and creators, including Jack Settleman and Brittney Elena, will also be on-site to help capture the fan experience.

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“Every year we activate around the Super Bowl, we’re always thinking about how we can top the previous seasons. This year, we’re really excited to showcase the Snap brand in a unique and immersive way off-platform,” Anmol Malhotra, Snapchat’s Head of Sports Partnerships, told Boardroom. “This will be one of the most comprehensive 360 activations we have ever executed around the Super Bowl.” 

On the Snapchat app, an NFL lens will allow Snapchatters to predict various game outcomes via AR technology by tilting their head right or left. The company will be able to track what percentage of fans are picking each outcome as part of a new API technology and will be able to see how their selections stack up after the game.

The NFL is one of the first partners to test this API functionality, Snap said. There will also be special Super Bowl stickers in the cameo sticker section.

Through Snap’s live garment transfer technology, fans can try on jerseys from both teams via Snap’s lens carousel, search, and the NFL’s official profile. And directly from that lens, fans can visit NFLShop.com to buy the jersey without leaving the app. The NFL app will also be outfitted with a special camera kit. Lenses will gamify fans’ Super Bowl user experience with a trivia contest featuring Chiefs- and 49ers-themed questions.

Another NFL partnership in Snap’s Spotlight section will be the #TouchdownDance Challenge, running from Feb. 7-13, encouraging fans to show off their best touchdown dance for the chance at a share of $20,000 in prizes. The NFL will also post directly to its Spotlight page throughout Super Bowl Week, highlighting top user submissions. NFL content on Snap Discover this week will feature the evolution of the Super Bowl ring and the most unbelievable moments in Super Bowl history.

Snap technology will also be integrated during Super Bowl Week, with an AR mirror at NFL House, the players’ official hospitality space inside Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. There, players and guests can take photos with Super Bowl and NFL lenses. Last year’s Super Bowl saw nearly 10 million unique viewers of Super Bowl content, Malhotra said, and Snap hopes to top that this weekend.

“For us, it’s really about aligning with the league. Having worked alongside one another for so many years, we have a really good rhythm going and know what the other is going to bring to the table and the time needed to execute at a really high level,” Malhotra said. “The NFL has been an incredible partner in launching new initiatives together as we make sure we are doing everything we can across all services of Snap and reaching fans every way we are able to.”

The roughly 110 million fans watching at home will probably be wondering whether Taylor Swift will make an appearance at the game, and Tara Carey, Snapchat’s Manager of Sports Partnerships, understands that Swift brought a new level of excitement and curiosity around the NFL to many new fans.

“The Snapchat community is a young community filled with passionate, diverse users, and there are also a lot of casual NFL fans that tune into Snapchat for NFL content,” Carey told Boardroom, “so having a major celebrity like Taylor Swift included in our NFL-produced coverage is pretty special and helps us to extend our reach and potentially attract new fans. We’re looking forward to seeing the unique POVs from our creators that highlight Taylor Swift across spotlight and stories. This moment uniquely places Snapchat at the intersection of pop culture, sports, and entertainment, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Snapchat Super Bowl
(Image courtesy of Snapchat)

For Malhotra, this Super Bowl partnership is not only a chance to show what Snapchat is capable of but also to get key exposure for potential future partners who can see how the company can scale at America’s biggest sporting event.

“When you execute on the highest stage like the Super Bowl, it opens the door for a whole lot more,” he said. “Ultimately, our ambition is to leverage our tech around every major tentpole in every major venue, and this is a tremendous step in that direction. We look forward to trailblazing alongside the league, ultimately opening the doors for more across sports, entertainment, and beyond.”

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