Insurance outfit QBE activated its alliance with long-term partner the Sydney Swans of the AFL through an immersive, 360- degree virtual reality AFL match day experience.

The new tech, leading edge activation was pitched as the first of its kind.

Working with sports and entertainment agency Octagon Australia, as well as with Rapid and Milkmoney, ‘Swans360⁰’ was the centrepiece of QBE season-opening experiential and digital campaign.

The initiative, which primarily ran across both QBE and Sydney Swans owned channels, was spearheaded by a four-minute VR experience that will officially launch at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 1 April.

This launched coinciding with the first home game for the Sydney Swans in the new 2018 season and gave fans a chance to experience ‘Swans360⁰’ before the season opener, as well as at every home game in the QBE Fan Zone on Driver Avenue.

Before kick-off, supporters can step in to a miniature SCG replica – complete with the iconic clock tower – sit on one of seven swivel seats and be transported into the shoes of a Sydney Swans player on match day. It takes viewers deep into the inner sanctum of the changing rooms, the coach’s pre-game huddle and then out onto the SCG with the team at the start of the game.

The footage was shot during one of last season’s most memorable Swans games: the Round 14 clash with Essendon which was won by the Swans by just a single point in the final seconds.

It will also be available through the Sydney Swans mobile app.

The experience was promoted through both a 90-second ‘behind-the-scenes’ video:

and a 30-second VR trailer:

Fans can learn more about the campaign on the brand’s activation site at

The experience was created in connection with production company Rapid. The film uses revolutionary VR technology and techniques, and is directed by Rapid’s Dave Klaiber. The creative is hosted by Sydney Swans great Michael O’Loughlin.

QBE chief customer officer, Bettina Pidcock, explained that said the campaign was a demonstration of the insurer’s commitment to innovation and its long-term partnership with the Sydney Swans.

“For 32 years, we’ve been like the 23rd player in the team, so we wanted to give fans the opportunity to step into our shoes and have a truly immersive match day experience,” said Pidcock.

“At QBE, we’re embracing new technology like virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, and drones to help create safer roads, faster catastrophe responses and a range of community benefits. Swans360⁰ – made possible by QBE, is a brilliant way to showcase the power of that technology for our customers and Swans fans, as well as celebrate one of the world’s longest standing sporting sponsorships.”

Dave Klaiber, director at Rapid added: “With 360-degree VR you don’t just watch it, you experience it, and this is such a great application for the technology. To get the game against Essendon was incredible and to be able to capture and bottle that type of emotion in VR was one of the highlights of my career.”

Other strands of the QBE’s ongoing season-long Swans activation will roll out through the year.


This is a unique club experience offering a fresh perspective and compelling way to feel the thrill of an AFL game.

This initiative follows on from QBE’s 2017 Sydney Swans season opening campaign: one which favoured softer animation over cutting-edge tech and focused on a message that life, like sport, can be unpredictable (see case study).

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Sydney Swans