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Samsung surprises Rugby fans with very real virtual reality experience

Sport is increasingly becoming a popular platform from which to promote virtual reality (VR) and Samsung is eyeing rugby as a driver for it VR technology in a new Six Nations campaign.

Having implemented the technology at the England v Ireland match a few weeks ago (27 February), the tech giant is set to host a VR experience at Twickenham stadium before the England v Wales game on Sunday (12 March).

The VR allows fans to try out a Samsung 'School of Rugby' game on the new Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Gear VR headsets, and the title challenges their reaction speeds against rugby stars Martin Johnson and Lawrence Dallaglio.

The previous activation seen Samsung include a number of added bonuses at a dedicated pop-up in the West Fan Village by offering audience members the chance to win an exclusive dinner with England players and Samsung ambassadors Jonathan Joseph, George Ford and Joe Launchbury.

For three participants the VR experience became reality when England legends Johnson and Dallaglio appeared in front of them when they removed their headsets.

Dallaglio said: “We had a lot of fun filming the Samsung School of Rugby campaign last year so it was great for Martin and I to be able to bring a little bit of that to the home of rugby at Twickenham.

"It was great to see the expressions of some of the surprised fans as they took off their virtual headsets to be greeted by myself and Martin," he added.

Benjamin Blanco, head of sport and entertainment marketing at Samsung UK said: “This year more than ever we want to connect our consumers with their passions and tell our emotional story.

“Through our work with Lawrence, Martin and England Rugby we were able to bring the new Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge products to life in an engaging way to heighten fans’ experience at Twickenham.”

As well as sports Samsung has also been promoting its VR across fashion and film and recently announced that the launch of Samsung Studio, a new way in which storytellers, influencers, and filmmakers can continue to build upon the momentum of technology.