As the sports world slowly gets back to normal while observing pandemic protocols, fans are once again being folded into the mix in innovative ways.
The latest example comes from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and uses augmented reality via the Snapchat app.
On Saturday, April 24, when users open the Snapchat app, a new sponsored Lens appears that allows anyone to make their picks for UFC 261.
Using the head tracking feature in Snapchat, the Lens allows you to pick the winners of the top three main cards featuring Kamaru Usman versus Jorge Masvidal, Zhang Weili versus Rose Namajunas, and Valentina Shevchenko versus Jessica Andrade.
In addition to the picks, users are treated to the iconic voice of Bruce Buffer (known for his "It's Time!" phrase to open fights) calling out whichever fighters you pick. Once your winners are picked, you're given a customer image, along with your own face, that you can share with friends to lock in your pick. The Lens also allows you to buy access to the fight through ESPN Plus.
As of this writing, the early preliminary fights have already started, but you still have plenty of time to make your picks in AR via Snapchat since the main event doesn't start until 10 p.m. ET.
Tip: If you don't see the Lens in your Snapchat carousel, try adding sports to your Snapchat Ad Preferences by going to Settings/Additional Services/Manage/Lifestyle & Interests and click on the option for Fight & Wrestling Fans.