A record-shattering, inaugural season left the Vegas Golden Knights looking for an innovative way to remind fans of the special year.
On Black Friday — or as the Golden Knights dubbed it, Gold Friday — the team released the “VGK Inaugural Season Book” filled with content to allow fans to relive the magical Stanley Cup Final run. The book is packed with essays from key members of the team — such owner Bill Foley, team president Kerry Bubolz and defenseman Deryk Engelland — and more than 200 photos.
“We have enjoyed so many unforgettable moments during our brief history and our ‘Inaugural Season Book’ looks to capture them all,” Foley said. “We think this commemorative piece will be a tremendous keepsake for all Golden Knights fans.”
While the essays and photos provide an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at how the team was built and emotional moments of the season, the communications team also took to technology to bring the book to life. Throughout the book, markers indicate where augmented reality can transport fans back to some of the season’s most memorable moments.
“We are so proud of the inaugural season, and we thought it’d be best to commemorate it in a way fans really could enjoy,” said Brian Killingsworth, the Golden Knights’ CMO. “We wanted to add the AR piece because of all the unique pieces our fans can celebrate and relive from the most successful expansion franchise in history.”
"It's 2018, man." 😎
Shea Theodore and William Karlsson have been having fun with the Augmented Reality feature in the VGK Inaugural Season Book on #GoldFriday
Get yours today! pic.twitter.com/ku32HnFqRy
— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) November 23, 2018
The Golden Knights worked to bring those moments to life, while readers can download the “VGK Inaugural Season Book” app to access those moments by turning the page into a video.
There are 15 markers in the book, ranging from Engelland’s impassioned “Vegas Strong” speech at the team’s home opener following the Oct. 1 tragedy, to William Karlsson’s breakaway between-the-legs goal that helped seal the division title. When the marker is seen, the fans can pull up the moment in their app.
The book was released on Gold Friday to give fans a special holiday perk, Killingsworth said, but also because they wanted to get it right.
“We wanted to have something special, but we also wanted to do something really special like the AR piece,” he said. “We wanted to do it right and tested it in a number of different mediums. It took some time, but we think it’s perfect.”
Killingsworth, who was also the CMO with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said he’s always looked for ways to incorporate new technologies throughout his career. This is likely just one of the early steps for how the Golden Knights will use virtual and augmented reality.
Perhaps the largest opportunity Killingsworth sees for the technologies is in the team’s youth hockey endeavors, which have already exponentially grown the game in a state hockey was once an afterthought.
“There’s an untapped potential in AR and VR as a teaching tool, especially as we grow youth hockey,” he said. “We’re talking to some vendors and hope to put something together to help kids play the game. But it’s really something that can be used from training and development to just bringing content to life. Whatever we can deliver to help engage fans better, we’ll look at.”