nib and The Blues launch New Zealand-first virtual reality training experience for rugby fans

22 March 2019

nib and The Blues launch New Zealand-first virtual reality training experience for rugby fans

We’re proud to have partnered with The Blues to launch We’re Sending You In – a virtual reality (VR) tour that gives fans the chance to experience training alongside some of their rugby heroes.

Hosted by Blues’ strength and conditioning coach, Phil Healey, the immersive experience is the first VR tour of its kind for any New Zealand sports team, offering viewers a front row seat at a Blues team talk and training session, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at their Auckland training facilities.

We premiered the experience at a special event for our charity partner, Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) New Zealand, MC’d by The Crowd Goes Wild host Andrew Mulligan. Families staying at RMHC New Zealand’s Auckland House were the first in the country to take the VR tour. To set the scene, we created the ultimate “at-home” stadium experience at the House, with big screens and bleacher seating for families to watch the Blues take on the Highlanders.

Our Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said the motivation for developing the VR piece stemmed from our constant drive for innovation, and a desire to be at the forefront of creating new and better experiences for consumers.

“We’re passionate about innovation in every sense – and that includes our partnerships. We’ve been proud sponsors of the Blues for six seasons, so we were extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with the team and develop this New Zealand-first VR tour,” Mr Hennin said.

“The goal was to create something that would replicate for fans far and wide the sort of experience that very few people ever have in their lifetime – to be there, training right alongside some of New Zealand’s best players,” he added.

Blues Chief Executive Officer, Michael Redman, says, “Initiatives like this one are important to the team because they have a key role to play helping foster the next generation of rugby talent. If we could, we’d love to give every fan the chance to sit in on a training session – and this is the next best thing – which is why we jumped at the chance to be involved.”

RMHC New Zealand Chief Executive, Wayne Howett, says “For the families staying with Ronald McDonald House, all of whom have had to travel away from home for a child to receive hospital treatment, getting to a game isn’t always possible. This has been a once-in-a-lifetime event for the families, especially the rugby fans.”

“When a child is going through treatment, it’s important for families to have positive, happy experiences like this one – and we’re grateful to nib for bringing it all to life in such an unforgettable way,” Mr Howett said.

Fans can experience We’re Sending You In for themselves as part of the nib Skill Zone at every Blues home game throughout the 2019 season, or online via this link.

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