IRONMAN Virtual Events Tap Flowics for Interactive Graphics
Every weekend, professional triathletes take on the IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge live on Facebook Watch via the IRONMAN Now Facebook Page so that viewers can tune in from anywhere in the world. And now the organization is working with Flowics to bring a new level of interactive graphics to its offering.
Doug O’Donnell, Vice President of Digital Platforms and Content for The IRONMAN Group, says that working with Flowics has helped strengthen the production and execution of the IRONMAN VR Pro Challenge on the IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch page.
“The flexible graphics package empowers our team to easily design and operate customized, high-quality visuals for each race,” he says. “Using Flowics’ audience participation features for Facebook Live we are able to reach new levels of engagement and connect with the modern fan, who seeks a deeper involvement than passively watching a race.”
The races feature each competitor’s individual live stream from their stationary bicycles as well as VR stream through ROUVY’s augmented reality that shows the athletes’ avatars competing as though they are in a physical race. Through Flowics’ integration with ROUVY, IRONMAN collects real-time GPS, speed, heart rate, timing and other data from each of the participants via wearable technologies and app trackers. IRONMAN is then able to display these live stats on screen throughout the race with dynamic graphics and overlays created through Flowics’ intuitive cloud graphics platform. By incorporating a captivating real-time data and graphics strategy, IRONMAN keeps the audience intrigued and feeling connected to their favorite contestants despite not being able to watch in person.
To attract and retain viewers on the live stream, IRONMAN uses Flowics’ audience participation features to create buzz and heighten anticipation around the virtual events. The IRONMAN production team is able to moderate and display user-generated content on screen, including social commentary from the Facebook comments section. Flowics also enables IRONMAN to conduct Facebook Polls, a native way of running polls integrated with the Facebook video player on any livestream. By asking viewers questions like “What team will win today’s race?” and sharing the results on the air, IRONMAN is catering to modern sports fans who look forward to sharing their thoughts and opinions around their favorite sporting events.
The cloud-native infrastructure of the Flowics platform allows the production team to log in from any remote location and control the visuals, curate and display viewer comments, add and remove different graphic elements from the L-bar and edit text on the fly. Users can access the platform simultaneously and collaborate on the production via a web browser, without the need for legacy hardware or software. The graphics solution makes it simple for the team to quickly adapt the graphics package for each weekend depending on factors like the number of competitors in a given race and the type of information they want to display on each particular day.
“We are thrilled to be a part of one of the most engaging digital viewing experiences in sports today,” says Gabriel Baños, CEO and Founder at Flowics. “We look forward to progressing our work with IRONMAN and continuing to help sports entities around the world bring high-quality graphics and audience participation to life. At Flowics we believe in a fan-first strategy which is why we help our clients optimize their productions with engaging, interactive content.”