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US Open AR – Deloitte & the US Golf Association

In response to the 2020 US Open being played without any fans due to Covid-19, USGA partner Deloitte built an AR app enabling golf fans to experience all 18 holes in near real-time 3D.

Territory: USA/Global

Agency: Deloitte Digital

Objectives

The United States Golf Association, rights-holder of the US Open, first teamed up with Deloitte in 2014 and then extended the tie-up in 2016 and 2018 with the aim of increasing engagement by leveraging digital technology.

Since the partnership began, Deloitte has looked for fresh ways to engage fans with the golf Major – a goal that became particularly important at the late running 2020 event, played from 17-20 September at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York state without any fans due to Covid-19 restrictions.

For the 120th US Open, Deloitte’s activation objective became to create ‘lean in opportunities’ for fans to get closer to the action despite having to watch from home.

Activation

The brand’s in-house team decided to create an AR experience allowing at-home fans to immerse themselves in three-dimensional, near real-time play providing deep engagement opportunities on all 18 holes of the course.

The immersive mobile/tablet app initiative, available online and in the iOS and Android app stores, included features such as ‘Live Play, ‘Pick Your Player’ and ‘Find a Player’ to enable fans to create a bespoke US Open experience from the comfort of their own homes as Deloitte’s technology tracked and analysed each and every shot in near real time and then rendered them in 3D with accompanying data.

Despite a reduced promotional and media budget due to the pandemic, the app was promoted through an integrated marketing campaign spearheaded by a national television ad.

Outcome

Deloitte’s US Open AR app was downloaded more than 75,000 times during the event and was the 13th most downloaded sports app of the year in the USA. The initiative also drove 100 million total impressions and more than seven million engagements.

Traffic to the deloitte.com/usga webpage tripled during tournament broadcasts, driving a 15-per-cent year-on-year rise in Deloitte’s site engagements, with a 62-per-cent site retention rate.

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