Caps star Alex Ovechkin is getting his own cereal and AR game - Technical.ly DC

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Sep. 11, 2019 7:15 am

Caps star Alex Ovechkin is getting his own cereal and AR game

As part of the new cereal box featuring the Washington Capitals captain, Baltimore's Balti Virtual created am augmented reality game in Snapchat Lens Studio to bring "Ovi O's Slapshot" to the breakfast table.
Ovi O’s features Alexandar Ovechkin — and AR.

Ovi O's features Alexandar Ovechkin — and AR.

(Photo courtesy of Giant Food)

A new cereal from Giant Food is bringing Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin to the breakfast table — and with augmented reality, Balti Virtual is adding a few slapshots to the morning routine, too.

Starting on Sept. 17, which is Ovechkin’s birthday, Ovi O’s will be available throughout the area at Giant. The honey-nut cereal will come complete with a smiling photo of the Caps’ prolific goal-scorer on the box. A portion of proceeds will go to the Columbia-based Children’s Cancer Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit which funds funding local researchers, programs and facilities.

“I love cereal and it’s a huge honor to work with Giant to make Ovi O’s and help the Children’s Cancer Foundation support kids and families in the D.C. community,” Ovechkin said in a statement about the limited edition cereal.

Along with his likeness, the cereal box can also be the venue for a game in which players control an animated Ovechkin. This augmented reality addition came to life through a partnership with Port Covington-based Balti Virtual.

The game, dubbed “Ovi O’s Slapshot,” is accessible via Snapchat. Anyone who purchases a box of the cereal can scan the box in that app. Then, it opens up to show the animated Ovechkin, ready to take a shot on goal. Users control Ovi as he pulls back, aims and shoots cereal at moving targets.

The work through the Snapchat app is a new approach for Balti Virtual. The company also has its own app, called AppAR8, which it’s used for AR activations. Designing the experience within Snapchat offers users a way to meet users in an app that’s used for lots of other social functions, as well, said Balti Virtual CEO Will Gee.

“They’ve opened up a lot to third-party content creators,” Gee said.

Snapchat’s Lens Studio provides tools to make augmented reality content that are specific to the app.

“It’s a great fit for us,” he said. “It’s the kind of work we like to do.”

Pointing toward a future where AR is more seamlessly integrated into the experience of using a phone, he calls Snapchat a “balance” between building for a native browser, and building one’s own app, calling it “the best of both worlds.”

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Balti Virtual previously partnered on a Capitals initiative with “Tilt the Ice,” a game that turned drink coasters into a goal that had high reengagement among fans. Along with the game itself, there was a built in leaderboard and social sharing that’s also present on the Ovi-O’s game.

When the team was approached for the latest partnership, Gee said they considered, “Can we get the benefits of this reengagement and a fun experience along with making it more accessible and getting our feet wet with newer technology?”

Here’s a still of the game, which will be released next week:

A still from Ovi O's Slapshot augmented reality game. (Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy image)

Companies: Balti Virtual
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