Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber makes a big bet into virtual reality with NextVR

by Will Mason • May 13th, 2015

Live streaming sports may be one of the big keys to virtual reality’s mass adoption – so it only makes sense that some of the biggest names in the sports entertainment industry are beating down the doors to get in early. Today a few of those names managed to break through. NextVR announced their newly formed advisory board today and it comes with some pretty big names.

Heading up the list is CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, Peter Guber, who has a long and storied career in the entertainment industry. Formerly the Chairman of Sony Entertainment, Guber’s films have made over $3 billion in earnings worldwide and garnered over 50 Academy Awards. Perhaps more relevant however, is Guber’s co-ownership of three major sports franchises – the Golden State Warriors in the NBA, the Los Angeles Dodgers in the MLB, and the Los Angeles Football Club of the MLS. To add even more to his list of accomplishments, he is also the chairman of Dick Clark Productions, the largest live event programming producer in the world. So yeah, a company focused on live streaming sports and events seems right in Guber’s wheelhouse.

Guber first had a chance to try NextVR’s technology back in March at a Warriors game in San Francisco and it was love at first sight saying immediately after the experience “I think I am witnessing the future of location based entertainment.” Guber continued to be effusive in his praise of NextVR’s technology “It’s hard to imagine what NextVR is capable of delivering with their live virtual reality technology… it’s a game changer for live sports, festivals, concerts, shopping, and travel.” 

In addition agreeing to be the chair of the advisory board, Guber has also made a “multimillion dollar investment” in NextVR. Currently the terms of the investment have yet to be disclosed, but it is a significant amount – and with all the advanced technology work that NextVR is doing in the light field realm, that investment will be very important.

Guber is not the only big name joining the advisory board, also joining will be Scott Teissler and Doug Perlman. Teissler if the former VP and CTO at Turner Broadcasting System, inc. (aka TBS), and prior to that he was in a similar role at CNN. Perlman is the founder of Sports Media Advisors, an advisory firm that is focused on the intersection of sports, TV, and digital platforms. Perlman was also named as one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Sports” by The Sporting News.

This coup by NextVR is incredibly significant, not only for the company but for the industry as a whole. Having someone with as impressive a resume as Peter Guber agree to make this big of a commitment to VR is very important for the nascent industry’s growth. “Content is king,” and sports are about the biggest realm of content out there – with over $32 billion in revenue last year alone among the top professional leagues in the world. With millions of fans eager for a better seat, livestreaming VR sports are going to make a big splash Next year.

 

Image Credit: Tim Hussin – San Francisco Chronicle 

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