How Snap Brought Tennis to Life With Serena Williams

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Death, taxes, and Serena Williams making the finals at Wimbledon. There are so few promises in life, and as of now, you can’t get more guaranteed than those three.

Williams, who is coming off a pregnancy, and two different surgeries, looks as if none of that ever happened as she has cruised to the finals, only dropping one set along the way.

While preparing for Wimbledon on the court, she had a few things up her sleeve off it — one of which was finding a way to collaborate with Snap, the parent company of Snapchat and the app she had been using almost daily since she joined in 2015.

According to a Snap spokesperson, the tennis superstar approached the company earlier this year and expressed interest in working on some type of integration that would make sense for both parties.

After fleshing out some original ideas, the two came to the conclusion that utilizing Snapchat’s new 3D Bitmoji product to create a truly unique augmented reality experience was the way to go.

Then, according to the spokesperson, the parties took several weeks to work on storyboards, game mechanics, and various designs before landing on an interactive experience where Serena, in her classic Nike, Wimbledon whites, could “play tennis” against her millions of fans around the world.

Since debuting on July 2, the spokesperson points to early success thanks to high engagement from users.

This wasn’t the only project that Snap partnered with the All England Lawn and Tennis Club (AELTC) on, as the two joined forces to produce Our Story coverage that gave Snapchatters a front row seat to the tournament.

In the case of Williams, the collaboration was the first time that Snap had put together 3D Bitmoji Lens in partnership with other parties.

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As one can imagine, live sports and sports-related content are of high priority for Snap, with the company working with the likes of Fox Sports to produce a daily World Cup Publisher story, a partnership that makes the network the first sports partner to update its Publisher Story throughout the day with real-time game highlights.

Whether you are competing with Williams on the virtual court or watching the highlights of your favorite team, Snap is focused on bringing sports content to life for its users. If these last few partnerships are any indication, the platform has the potential to deliver experiences that are hard to find anywhere else.