Budweiser Delivers Basketball Fans the First NBA Virtual Reality Experience

The Cleveland Cavaliers will give away VR headsets

Budweiser is playing the virtual reality game, literally, by sponsoring a VR experience with the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs are the first NBA team to build VR technology into their official app, and Budweiser is giving away cardboard VR headsets at tonight's NBA playoff game in Cleveland, through which fans can view basketball-themed footage. The cardboard headset also doubles as a handy beer carrying case. WME | IMG, AB InBev's U.S. sports marketing agency of record, came up with the VR concept and designed and built the viewer.

"As a company, we are always looking for new ways to bring fans closer to the teams they love, and virtual reality is a big part of that," said Lucas Herscovici, vp of consumer connections at Anheuser Busch, in a statement. "The Cavs have been great partners in helping us activate this technology in the NBA and we look forward to continuing to evolve this activation."

The four VR videos on the team's app and Budweiser's VR YouTube channel include a tour of the Cavaliers' locker room and a courtside view of the national anthem and player introductions. The Cavaliers launched their VR video series earlier this month, and will continue to roll out more videos throughout the playoffs. 

"We're always looking for new ways to connect with our fans by leveraging emerging technologies that deliver unique experiences. VR was a logical next step and an area we're excited to explore," said Mike Conley, the Cavaliers vp of digital, in a statement.