Being able to work with some of the most-popular celebrities in the world is one of the perks that comes with being owned by Facebook, and it looks like Oculus intends to take full advantage of that perk. Beats proved that getting LeBron James to promote your product can be a massive boost to your popularity, and now Oculus is trying to recreate that success with a 12-minute virtual reality video about how LeBron trains for the NBA. Most people are at least somewhat familiar with Oculus by now, but the company’s upcoming virtual reality headset is still considered to be more of a gaming product, but this promotion from LeBron should help change that image a bit.
Could LeBron James be the one to bring virtual reality mainstream? Exactly one year after James launched his video diary project “Uninterrupted,” the biggest basketball star on the planet partnered with Facebook-owned Oculus to launch a 12-minute virtual reality film about how he trains for the NBA. Some of the footage has already appeared on Facebook as part of the company’s 360-degree video push. But this is the first time the two have partnered on a VR film, which Oculus funded and VR content studio Felix and Paul Studios produced. The video is pretty great for Oculus, which is set to roll out its own VR headset in Q1 of 2016. It’s unclear if James was paid or takes a share of revenue from ads sold alongside the video, but having the world’s biggest basketball superstar creating content in VR is a pretty great tease. Oculus and virtual reality in general still feel like products for gamers. Bringing someone like James into the fold early should help drum up some more mainstream attention. It’s also interesting for James, who is appearing on more and more screens. He clearly has an interest in media — that’s why he started “Uninterrupted;” his media company Spring Hills Entertainment recently signed a deal with Warner Bros. Now he’s one of the first big-time athletes to get his size-15 feet into the world of VR, too.