Athletic leagues have regularly utilized 360-degree video to give fans that can’t attend events in person a way to get a similar feeling from the comfort of their own homes. The MLB cut a deal with Intel in June involving broadcasts of their games, but the latest project is an immersive experience of a different kind. Partnering with Google’s Daydream, the MLB created On the Verge which is a series that will give fans a chance to see some of their favorite baseball players get under the spotlight outside of a game.
In addition to the episode for Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Josh Bell shown above, episodes featuring Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox, Manuel Margot of the San Diego Padres, and Jose Berrios of the Minnesota Twins are all currently available. The series focuses on younger stars in the league and shows them in the batting cage, clubhouse, and other areas in a documentary-style production. Clips of their performances are mixed in with interviews with the players themselves that take place around their stadiums.
There are many different tools available for production of content like this series and this team utilized the Google Jump, a rig that was also used in the creation of New York Times’ noir 360-degree series that featured Don Cheadle. The four available episodes of On The Verge can be seen on YouTube but can also be viewed on the MLB.com At Bat app on Google Daydream.