360-degree camera company signs Reed as an ambassador
If you’re going to launch a new product from a new company in the powersports market, it’s not a bad idea to sign someone familiar to the industry to help promote your brand. Luckily for 360fly, a new video camera company, its ambassador Number TwoTwo Chad Reed is about as familiar as they come in the powersports world.
360fly, Inc. is the company behind a new single-lens camera that captures video in a 360-degree format. Once recorded, the video allows users to swipe in all directions to catch a full view of what was happening when the video was taken. For example, if someone like Reed has the 360fly camera on his handlebars, by swiping the video, the viewer can see not only the road or track in front of the rider, but the viewer can also scroll and see to the left, right and above and even turn it the view around to see the rider himself.
Peter Adderton, the founder of Boost Mobile, has come on board as CEO of 360fly, and as a motocross and mountain bike enthusiast, he has been impressed with the technology since before he earned his latest post.
“I literally had been a big action cam user for many, many years, and I was sent this camera, this 360fly camera, by some friends of mine that were invested in it down in San Diego, and they said, ‘Can you check this out?’ So I put it on my mountain bike and came back just totally in love with this concept of being able to capture everything that was around me,” he told Powersports Business.
When offered the opportunity to lead 360fly, he was just as enthusiastic because of the camera’s innovation in an already existing and hot market that currently focuses on single-point-of-view cameras.
“It really is exciting,” he said. “If you look at the single-point-of-view cameras, I think people are getting a little bit tired of them; I think people are tired of shooting in just one direction.”
Adderton’s experience with Boost Mobile segued nicely into booking not only Reed, but also flatland BMX rider Terry Adams, freestyle skiier Simon Dumont and surfer Carissa Moore to become ambassadors for the brand.
“I’ve been involved in the action sports world for quite a while, so my relationship with Chad and all of the athletes goes back to like 2002, 2003,” Adderton said.
As an ambassador, Reed will promote 360fly at public appearances, in media interviews and in his social media activity. Though Reed has won multiple Supercross championships, his record wasn’t the only reason 360fly partnered with him.
“There’s a lot of Supercross/motocross riders that we could get. The reason why I like Chad, obviously he’s a champion, but more importantly, he’s a family man, and our whole concept about our camera is about sharing not just yourself but your family, so I would like to think we signed Chad as a dad as much as we signed Chad as a Supercross/motocross star,” Adderton explained. “I think it’s critical to our strategy, so that’s one of the reasons why we like Chad. I think he’s done an incredible job building his brand beyond a guy who jumps dirt for a living; he’s really been able to create something outside of that, and I think that was really compelling to us as a company.”
Adams, Dumont and Moore were chosen for many of the same reasons.
“If you look at where we’re going, we’re not just talking about trying to get the guy who wins everything; we’re trying to talk to the people who have a big following on Instagram and have kind of a life outside their sport. That’s really important to us because I think socially sharing a life outside is more valuable to your fan base if you’re an athlete,” Adderton added.
The 360fly camera
Adderton is just as enthusiastic about 360fly’s athlete partners as he is about the camera itself. He explained the single-point-of-view experience is lonely because viewers can only see what’s in front of the camera. With 360fly, viewers can see more, and even those who took the video themselves can see the experience in a whole new way.
“There’s nothing better than a 360 camera that gives you the ability to capture more that’s going on, so that instead of missing the money shot with a single-point-of-view camera, you get to capture it with a 360-degree camera,” Adderton said.
Not only can the video be used for entertainment purposes, but it might give users a better view into why they crashed, for example, or why they went faster or slower on any given lap, because they not only can see footage in front of them, but they can swipe the camera around and see footage of themselves.
With the 360-degree view, the 360fly camera also allows for a virtual reality (VR) experience to anyone who has a VR headset. Adderton recently placed a 360fly in the center of the table at his daughter’s 10th birthday party, recording the entire event, then he edited the video and showed it to her and her friends using a pair of VR goggles.
“Now every day my daughter grabs my phone and puts the goggles on, and she can relive her birthday party because she’s there, and I think that’s one of the benefits and joys of opening up a whole new world to VR users who probably were not even being targeted by the bigger VR companies. So we think there’s a tremendous value in that part of the business,” Adderton said. The video can also be viewed in a standard flat-screen format with swiping allowing for 360-degree views.
In addition to offering a whole new video perspective and the virtual reality option, 360fly also comes with an app for iOS and Android devices that allows users to edit and upload their videos on the go.
“You can go back using your smartphone, and you can edit, transfer it across; you can add music; you can do all of the crazy little things you want to do with it without having to get to your desktop, and literally share it and send it straight away to one of your social networks,” Adderton explained.
He said the 360fly app was important to add in a time when Instagram and Facebook users have become “real-time addicts.” Reed, for example, will have the ability to take 360fly video of a practice run and share it quickly with his fans.
The app was so important to Adderton that though the camera was ready earlier, he pushed the on-sale date of the 360fly back to this August or September, to assure the app would work the way he wanted it to.
He said he waited until the app “gave me the experience I was looking for, gave me the experience of edit and share and add music and all those cool and wonderful things that I want to be able to do that today, I have to go into like iMovie or Final Cut Pro to do. I wanted the ability to be able to do that on the phone, so we’ve really been able to hone in on that, and that’s one of the reasons why we pushed it back a little bit to make sure the software matched the experience that the hardware’s going to give,” he said.
When the 360fly camera hits the market late this summer, the goal is to have it accessible in consumer electronic retailers as well as specialty retailers, such as powersports dealerships. Adderton wants to get the camera in the hands of consumers not only in the U.S. but worldwide.
“I’m very happy and very comfortable that we’re going to have a nice place in the marketplace, and we’ll be able to grow that and with everything, technology gets better and it gets faster, and everything will start to improve for us,” he said. “So I think in the next 12 months we’re going to be fairly good force in the 360 video market.”