The Jockey Club's world first in sport using augmented reality

30th May 2012

You can use this image to play the 'Aura'

You can use this image to play the 'Aura'

The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British racing, which is the nation’s second biggest spectator sport with attendances of more than 6 million last year, today launched a global first in sport [1] by deploying cutting-edge technology to bring its Annual Review to virtual life in partnership with Aurasma, the world’s leading augmented reality platform.

Aurasma uses advanced image recognition technology to identify and understand images, objects and places in the real world, and then blends them with videos and 3D animations to create rich interactive content known as ‘Auras’. These can be enjoyed by anyone with an iPhone 4 or 4S, iPad 2 or 3 and various powerful Android smartphones and tablets, who downloads the free ‘Aurasma Lite’ app.

The Jockey Club’s revolutionary use of augmented reality has seen the creation of its own Aura, which takes the form of an interactive two-minute infographic video [2], showcasing the scale and growing popularity of British racing. It also helps to communicate what The Jockey Club is today and its role investing all profits back into the sport.

It is triggered by launching the Aurasma Lite app and then holding the appropriate smartphone or tablet over The Jockey Club’s colourful Annual Review front cover or an image of it (pasted below and attached). This features a representation of Her Majesty The Queen’s racing colours in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee, surrounded by those of other racehorse owners whose equine stars such as Frankel, Kauto Star and Neptune Collonges have enjoyed major success at The Jockey Club’s racecourses since last year. A short video of the Aura in action can be viewed here.

The Jockey Club’s Epsom Downs Racecourse stages the official launch of the long weekend of Diamond Jubilee celebrations this Saturday at the Investec Derby, which Her Majesty is due to attend along with more than 125,000 people – making it the most attended day of sport in Britain each year.

Several thousand copies of The Jockey Club’s Annual Review are produced annually and sent to its Members, who
include its Patron, Her Majesty The Queen; racehorse owners and trainers with more than five horses in training; business, sports and racing media; industry stakeholders and contacts; existing and potential commercial partners; employees; and suppliers.

To allow the widest possible audience to enjoy this unique use of augmented reality, The Jockey Club and all 14 of its racecourses, including Cheltenham, Aintree, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, will upload the colourful trigger image to their Facebook pages. Their fan communities can activate the film by holding relevant devices up to the screens displaying the image. Fans will be encouraged to share the image on their timelines to open up the fun to their network of friends and contacts.

This innovation is part of a wide-ranging digital strategy being deployed by The Jockey Club to make best use of cutting-edge technologies and emerging media platforms to communicate, in conjunction with some of the world’s most iconic brands in this space (further details will be revealed in due course).

Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive, The Jockey Club, said:

“This partnership with Aurasma is hugely exciting for The Jockey Club as this is industry-leading innovation that can turn heads and promote British racing. This is also a further sign of the expertise our team has in digital communications, where we are making use of a range of cutting-edge platforms to help to grow our sport.”

Martina King, Managing Director, Aurasma, said:

“The Jockey Club’s use of Aurasma brings an extra level of interest to their annual report. For the first time in history the horses literally race off the page.”

[1: the first ever Annual Review/Report from a sporting organisation to use augmented reality. It is also Aurasma’s first ever use of augmented reality with an Annual Review/Report full stop]

[2: produced for The Jockey Club by Loaf Creative]