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Baltimore Ravens Debut NFL’s First Augmented Reality Fan Face Painting App

To leverage excitement around the start of the new NFL season and help boost fan support, the Baltimore Ravens are enabling supporters to ‘get their game faces on’ through augmented reality face painting.

The Ravens have teamed up with augmented reality specialists Faceware Interactive and tech outfit Image Metrics to become the first NFL franchise to offer fans augmented reality face painting through the team’s mobile app at

Fans need just to download/update their Ravens app, available on both iOS and Android, ahead of the Ravens’ 2017 first outing at home as they take on the Cleveland Browns. Fans can then choose from 13 different face paint looks to express ‘Ravens Pride’.

This mobile AR offering, which potentially saves hours of actual face painting (and cleaning off afterwards), includes a ‘Ravenized’ Maryland state flag, purple and black stripes, a Ravens birdie head, a Ravens eye mask, and even a feather mask that flies onto your face when you open your mouth and more.

Like a Snapchat filter, the images then appear virtually on the fan’s face within the app and are also shareable with fellow supporters and rival fans across social media and messaging platforms.

The initiative was promoted across the team’s social and digital platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

“We say it all the time. We want attending a game to be an amazing experience for our fans. We want to create lifelong memories,” said Senior Vice President of Ravens Media Michelle Andres.

“Our face paint executions are not only a cool way for our fans to show their team spirit, they create those great memories.”


We like this kind of gimmicky fan fun, but while the Ravens may claim that this is the ‘first of its kind’ in professional sports, it very much reminds us of a single team version of Nissan’s multi-team, award-winning NCAA ‘Die Hard Fan App’ activation from 2015 (see case study).

Plus, back in August 2017, MLS team Toronto FC also offered an AR fan face painting platform for its fans.

While a month or so before that, in June 2017, football’s global governing body FIFA used Facebook to enable football fans around the world to create shareable 3D AR face masks to support their sides during the Confederations Cup.

Regardless of the debate about who is first, AR is just one of several new tech-led, digital and broadcast innovations the Ravens are introducing for the new 2017/18 season to enhance the gameday experience.

For example, this year will also see the team offer its fans a ‘Fan Mirror’: a full-size, movable, face recognition mirror located on the RavensWalk section of the M&T Bank Stadium concourse.

While in 2018, the club plans to install in-stadium cameras with facial recognition technology that will face paint fans sitting in the stands and project them on the giant RavensVision boards.

The team has also installed two 4K ultra-high definition video displays (with more to come) and added SkyCam to the game experience.

These additions are part of the franchise’s three-stage, $120m in-stadium improvement program.


Baltimore Ravens