VR Use Cases for University Admissions and Athletics
VR Use Cases for University Admissions and Athletics
Virtual Reality has gained an enormous amount of momentum with today’s youth due its real life feel. The kids have been using VR while playing video games for the last few years. They are all familiar with its immersive capabilities. With more virtual reality devices available and more accessible, VR will become a dominant way to consume media.
Virtual Reality’s differentiating factor is watch time. Due to its immersive appearance today’s youth are watching it for minutes at a time, immersed in the tour they are taking.
When a young adult watches a youtube video it has their eyeballs for roughly 5-10 seconds(being generous here) before they turn their head away. The video may still be on and while they may be listening they are not immersed in the content.
When a young adult sees a VR headset they are automatically interested even if they have no idea what you are going to show them because they have a sense that you are already speaking their language. Their attention is more focused.
When a recruiter goes on a home visit with a VR device in tow it gives them an advantage. A recruiter has to entertain anyone & everyone that might be in the house at the time. The VR tour helps keep one person occupied while you speak to the others.
Imagine, speaking to the recruit while the parents take a virtual reality tour through a vr headset. You now have a chance to have one on one time with the recruit while others are immersed in “Virtual Reality” environments. Furthermore, while the recruit is watching the VR tour, you now have some one on one time with the parents.
And let’s not forget the Grandparents. One of our clients in the SEC told us the entire mood changed in the house when Grandma put the VR headset on.
Virtual Reality is a way to bring the school to the recruit and their families.
Beyond home visits with our “LIVE Over VR” feature the school or athletic program can simply send a device and then conduct the tour and meeting live over VR. You can be one of the first schools to leverage VR for recruiting.
The transfer portal has added another dimension for the need of virtual reality. When an athlete puts his name in the transfer portal he is now allowed to get contacted by any coach in the country. The benefit of having a VR tour is in the quickness to move. Coaches can now contact any player in the transfer portal right away and send them the VR video link and see if they have a VR headset. Never has a player not been able to access a VR headset on campus if they did not already have one. Just like that an unofficial visit through a VR headset.
Data Analytics / Web Integration
The beauty of the internet for us in recruiting is the answers we can get behind the scenes. With data analytics we can share with you if the recruit really watched the video. Why is this important? If an athlete doesn’t watch the video link but tells you he saw the video and loves your facilities it’s apparent they are really not interested. On the other hand, if they watch the video and hone in on certain areas of the facilities we will be able to inform you of that as well. If they keep going to watch the same parts over and over again we will be able to tell you that as well. So when they do get to your campus on a visit you know exactly where to take them first.
What kind of VR tours do schools & programs use?
Moving, walking dynamic VR campus tours for admissions
Facilities tour for athletics recruiting
Moving, walking dynamic VR Campus Tours for admissions
Initially in the Covid world programs were using CampusVR’s tours to show off their facilities. With many campuses locked down it was a great way to show a young adult where they would be going to school. A facility tour will walk the student athlete through all the areas the school would like to show off for the video.
CampusVR tours are not static point and click exercises but a journey in a moving, walking dynamic experience designed to keep user interest for extended periods.
CampusVR admissions clients have been laughing all the way to the bank. We first created a VR video for admissions for a school in Central Florida during the peak of Covid. When they first spoke to us they mentioned that they were very concerned about not being able to fill the Fall 2020 class. After producing the VR tour for them they emailed it out to the parents on their prospects list.
This is where we learned about the power of the Mom’s. Once the moms loved what they were watching they started to forward the VR tour of the campus around to their friends. The video ended garnishing over 65,000 views. That is a staggering numb
What transpired is that a 10,000 person student body schools VR reality campus tour produced over 65,000 views. Popularity for the school went off the charts and a direct result was roughly 50% more students enrolling than expected. Needless to say no university has the housing capacity to absorb a 50% higher number of enrollment than expected. The university did not have enough housing for everyone. They offered incoming freshman $14,000 grants to defer for 1 year. I even had parents in my neighborhood that knew they were my client ask me if i could help secure housing for them.
In the fall of 2021 a small Catholic school in Virginia heard what CampusVR was able to accomplish in Central Florida with its VR campus tours and told us that they needed us to do the same for them.
Sometimes the trouble for these smaller schools isn’t that they are not great places, but rather that nobody knows about them. VR has really become a great way for the older 40+ and up administration to speak (without words) to the younger generation looking for a place to attend school.
At CampusVR we were unsure exactly how well our VR experiences were working, however we knew they had to be going well since we were hired back to do a promotional video for a book program the University was doing with Barnes and Noble. This was an exciting new twist for a young company. We considered it a massive compliment that the institution
Facilities tour for athletics recruiting
Last year the NCAA changed some of their rules on recruiting. For example the NCAA eliminated the content and production restrictions on video and audio materials. What this means is that coaches can now cater a video directly to a recruit. In VR we can now dim the lights in an arena and have the athlete hear their names called over the PA system. Also, the coach can give a talk to the recruit in VR from their office. All of these methods have proved revolutionary in bridging the gap the young adults looking for the right place and the 40+ year olds trying to relate to them.
Since covid has subsided, programs have come up with other creative ways to use VR to relate to the student athletes. The most popular and successful way is “VR Game Day Experiences” The ability for Coaches to show recruits into their pre game locker rooms has really given the recruit a true sense of what their experience will look and feel like (Smell not included:)
There is no better way to show a recruit the love and camaraderie of a team than how pumped everyone is after a big win. We have been able to capture moments with coaches getting sprayed with water bottles with all the players jumping around them. The main difference is that in virtual reality the recruit actually feels like they are also their. It has been a difference making experience.
When one of our clients was showing off their virtual reality athletics facilities tours to a high powered booster, the booster asked why don’t we do this for the alumni association?
The objective was simple, lets create a virtual reality tour for the alumni association so that the program can show off all the renovations and new equipment they have worked hard to get. Since many alumni do not live next to the school they have been reliant on pamphlets and mailers. So it was argued that most take the pamphlet, leaf through it, and put it in the trash.
Even if they wanted to, they would not be able to put a VR tour in the trash after seeing it. In fact, most likely they would go back and watch it again. The biggest difference between Virtual Reality and standard video is watch times. Without going too much into your youtube habits I can all but guarantee that when you put on a youtube video that they have your eyeballs for maybe 5 seconds before you turn your head away. In virtual reality our 5 minute videos are being watched for between 20-30 minutes. Viewers are constantly going back as a reference point or to see if they missed something in the 360º format.
The plan was to create enough hype for a 2-3 percent bump in donations. We were told that it was a resounding success that eclipsed 5%. With clients in the ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12 & others we can only speculate what 5% means.
Since then, during their annual big alumni dinner there are tables set up with multiple sets of VR headsets. They are able to take the VR tour and reminisce with former classmates how far the campus and facilities have come along.
The watch times for a VR experience vs a standard video is 5000x. When you put on a youtube video they have your eyeballs for 5 seconds before you turn your head away even if the video is still on. With virtual reality 5 minute videos are getting watched for 20-25 minutes. Its the immersion and the 360 degrees that keep the view coming back to see more and more. Whether its a 40% bump in applications, 20% bump in deposits, 50% more students enrolling, landing key recruits and more, its obvious that this generation loves VR.