Chelsea FC has teamed up with UK mobile network and Chelsea shirt sponsor Three to launch its new kit via augmented reality (AR). Three is offering anyone the opportunity to digitally ‘try on’ the home shirt from today, just hours after its official unveiling and ahead of its general availability on 9 July.
To take part and try on Chelsea FC’s new home shirt, WhatsApp the words ‘virtual kit’ to +44747 656 1433 to start the automated process, which only works on phones with UK +44 mobile numbers. The AI software uses the user’s chosen picture and digitally maps the new kit onto it. People will be given instructions on the best pose by ex-Chelsea legend, Joe Cole. There are also a few tips on photos to avoid such as folded arms and the ‘dab’ from current players including Mason Mount and Christian Pulicsic. Three will then send back an amended image featuring the Chelsea shirt placed onto the original picture of the user. Fans are also being encouraged to show their support by sharing their images on social media using the hashtag, #ConnecttheGame. Chelsea will wear the new kit for the first time for this evening’s game against West Ham.
The virtual kit launch is the first initiative to go live from Three’s partnership with Chelsea. With its goal to ‘Connect the Game’ Three aims to showcase its network capabilities and build a stronger, more open connection between fans and football.
“Today marks day one of our partnership with Chelsea and we wanted to make sure we started it off with fans at the heart of it,” said Elaine Carey, Chief Commercial Officer at Three. “Our ambition is to make the game more accessible, inclusive and connected, starting with the launch of the new kit. This idea was borne out of the fact that today’s world looks very different to that of previous years, we know how important getting that new kit is to fans so we wanted to allow everyone the chance to try it on for the game tonight. We therefore hope that all Chelsea supporters will enjoy sharing and following Chelsea in their new AR shirt until they can get their hands on the real thing.”
Chelsea Chief Executive Guy Laurence added: “We welcome Three to the Chelsea team wholeheartedly. Already from day one they are providing new ways to engage and connect our fan base, and we know Three is keen to connect us all more than ever before. We look forward to what this new era brings for us as a club, and the teams are looking forward to wearing the Three logo on their chests with pride, starting with our game tonight.”
From today, fans will begin to see Three’s ‘Connect the Game’ creativity come to life. The new platform will include activations and initiatives created in partnership with Chelsea FC men’s, women’s and academy teams, club venues and the Chelsea Foundation.