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THE HUNDRED

MEET CRICKET'S SUPERSTARS IN AR

Cricket has an image problem. Or rather, it had one until the summer of 2021. For years before then, the common perception of England’s summer sport was that it was boring, slow, and for middle-class white men. The Hundred set out to change all that.

Developed by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), The Hundred is a new fast-paced form of the game, designed to invite everyone to fall in love with cricket at its intense, breath-taking best.

To achieve its goals, innovation had to be at the absolute core of the experience – and that’s where Arcade came in.

"When the team at Arcade approached the ECB with an idea to incorporate avatar figures into The Hundred app we were really excited, and were delighted with the end result."

Alison Crowe, Director of Digital and Data, England & Wales Cricket Board

GET CLOSER TO THE ACTION

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get closer to the players than ever before?

This was the idea behind ‘Meet the Players’ – a world-first AR experience produced in partnership with Sky Sports and ECB that let fans everywhere bring the heroes from The Hundred into their living rooms, bedrooms, gardens, parks or anywhere else they wanted.

The avatars were produced by Dimension Studios using cutting-edge motion capture technology. Over 25 players including Moeen Ali, Sophie Ecclestone, Jos Buttler, Heather Knight and Sky pundit Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff performed their skills dressed in mocap suits – some more willingly than others!

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Video Credit: Sky Sports

MEET THE PLAYERS

The experience was created with Unity and integrated into both Sky Sports and The Hundred apps, and saw thousands of fans downloading their favourite players throughout the month-long tournament.

A lighter version of the experience was also launched via 8th Wall WebAR, allowing users to experience ten of the players without needing to download the app first.

"It's fantastic to see Unity being used by Arcade to build their industry-first AR experience, using motion capture on a scale never before seen in sport."

Timoni West, Vice President, Augmented & Virtual Reality, Unity

‘Meet the Players’ was launched early during the first season of The Hundred, with new players added throughout the tournament. During that time, well over 35,000 player avatars were downloaded¬†and viewed in AR, setting a new standard for digital fan engagement.

Alison Crowe, Director of Digital and Data at ECB, said, “One of the pillars of the digital experience around The Hundred was the ability to get closer to the players, which in a COVID affected season translated to having a digital rather than in real life experience. When the team from Arcade approached the ECB with an idea to incorporate avatar figures into The Hundred app this squarely met the brief, and we were really excited about being able to bring the concept to life and drive engagement in the app.”

“The project was a huge collaboration with Sky, the ECB, Dimension Studios, Arcade and InCrowd,” she added, “and we were delighted with the end result; showcasing some of the male and female stars of the competition proved to be really engaging for the audience as they downloaded miniature and life-size avatars and filmed themselves digitally meeting their heroes.”

You can ‘Meet the Players’ yourself by downloading The Hundred app – try it out on iOS or Android now!

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