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Toronto Raptors fans attending Friday night’s (Jan. 6) National Basketball Association tilt against the New York Knicks can enjoy the first ever 5G multiuser augmented reality experience on Snapchat thanks to a collaboration with Canadian telecommunications company Bell.
The two companies said Bell is the first Canadian telecommunications company to leverage 5G technology to support Snap Inc.’s AR technology like its Connected Lenses, which enable Snapchatters to share the same experience.
Fans at Scotiabank Arena with 5G devices will be able to scan a Snapcode on the Jumbotron and choose their team for the Bell 5G Shot Clock Challenge, after which they can play as many 24-second games as they like during the Knicks-Raptors game and earn points for their team.
Team scores will reset every 15 minutes, and fans without 5G devices can take part via a single-player version on 4G or LTE networks.
In addition to Friday night, the Bell 5G Toronto Raptors AR Lens will be available during three more Welcome Toronto games at Scotiabank Arena: Jan. 21 versus the Boston Celtics, Feb. 10 versus the Utah Jazz and March 18 versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bell Media and Snapchat also recently inked a partnership agreement to bring Bell Media content to the platform, including TSN Digital SportsCentre.
Snap senior director of global carrier partnerships Anne Laurenson said in a statement, “We are proud to work with Bell to showcase the unprecedented capabilities that AR and 5G can bring to consumers across Canada. We know that sports brings people together, and that connectivity—whether at home or in the stands—is integral to the overall fan experience, and we look forward to unlocking more of the magic of AR together.”
Snap general manager, Canada Matt McGowan added, “There is a highly engaged community watching and talking about sports on Snapchat and, with our more than 6 billion AR lens plays per day, we see a demand for more immersive experiences to complement and enhance the real world. We are thrilled to be able to join forces with Bell to bring our Canadian Snapchat community closer to the action and enable new ways for Raptors fans at Scotiabank Arena to be part of the game.”
And Bell executive vice president of marketing and president, consumer Claire Gillies said, “We’re excited to partner with Snap to bring together Bell’s 5G network leadership with a world leader in AR. With the power of 5G, Snap can offer Snapchatters new, fully immersive fan experiences, starting with live sporting events. This is just another example of our commitment to Canadians and how we’re delivering the latest technology and best experience.”