7-Eleven Launches Augmented Reality Experience Around March Madness

7-Eleven logo

IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven Inc. launched an augmented reality (AR) experience to celebrate March Madness surrounding the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Available now through April 10 in the 7-Eleven mobile app, a pair of augmented reality experiences promote BodyArmor, the official sports drink of the NCAA Championships, reported Mobile AR News.

Leveraging the front-facing camera, the first AR experience places a virtual bottle of BodyArmor within the camera view. When users open their mouths, the bottle turns upward to deliver imaginary refreshment.

The experience then turns users into basketball players, inserting the real-time camera feed into a basketball court scene, complete with a virtual basketball player's body. Users can customize the skin tone and gender of the virtual costume before capturing the scene to share with others.

Using the rear camera, the second experience anchors a miniature basketball game in the user's environment. Following the familiar three-point shooting contest format, players can compete with an AI opponent to see who can reach 10 hoops made first, with three rounds of escalating difficulty available per game.

A virtual reality version of the game is available for devices that don't support Android devices since the 7-Eleven app's AR camera doesn't yet support ARCore and iOS devices that aren't compatible with ARKit, according to Mobile AR News.

Users will earn points toward 7-Eleven's customer loyalty program by sharing the AR miniature basketball game on social media, or by simply a round of the game. They will also earn double points when they purchase a 28-ounce bottle of BodyArmor in 7-Eleven locations.

The convenience store retailer remains committed to augmented reality experiences, built with Zappar's Zapworks Studio platform, as a means to attract customers.

7-Eleven launched its first-ever AR in-store experience to celebrate the debut of "Deadpool 2" in May 2018. The main in-store AR initiative invited "Deadpool" fans to engage in fun virtual activities to earn 7Rewards bonus points. New activities were released each week, as Convenience Store Newspreviously reported.

Here's how the experiences worked:

  • Customers tapped the camera icon on the home screen of the 7-Eleven app and Dealpool appeared to guide fans through the experience.
  • They took a selfie and watched as the mad scribbler took over with his red marker.

Scannable codes throughout the store unlocked new activities and 7Rewards bonus points. Once unlocked, an experience was accessible later, even after leaving the store.

Later that September, 7-Eleven kicked off football-centric second AR experience.

Based in Irving, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 67,000 stores in 17 countries, including 11,800 in North America.