A hat trick from Ronaldo, a long scoring run from Chicharito, Spain’s passing game – they all make up the marvel of the World Cup for billions of soccer fans worldwide.
In this year’s Cup, however, the viewing experience got a little more virtual. LiveLike, a virtual reality streaming platform, is working with Fox Sports to provide viewers with a virtual suite where they can view multiple angles of the field, access statistics and highlights while chatting with friends and fellow boosters, all from within an app.
Founded in 2015 with backing from venture capital firms and former NBA commissioner David Stern, LiveLike quickly made a name for itself in virtual reality sports streaming, working with partners to broadcast events as big and diverse as SuperBowl XLI, the Big East Championship for college basketball and India’s Premier League Cricket Championship.
Live Action + Social Interaction
“What makes us different is we really emphasize the entire viewing experience, not just the live game,” said Lawrence Chan, LiveLike’s Director of Finance. “It brings in the entire, modern, sports viewing experience. If you’re watching the game at home, your checking stats on your phone, you’re interacting with friend, watching video that gives you an understanding of a player or a team. That’s all held seamlessly inside our experience.”
LiveLike got its first big break when it partnered with Fox Sports in 2016 to help change the way people watch sports. Many VR sports solutions simply give viewers the ability to see the game from multiple camera angles. LiveLike does that, but also lets viewers add Facebook friends to their “suite,” watch highlights or other instructional content and access statistics. And there are two options to consume the game, LiveLike offers the experience through VR goggles or through Fox’s mobile app.
“Many people, even to this day, don’t have a VR headset or one is not readily available,” Chan said. “We wanted to give a sense of what it’s like but that you can access anywhere. “
System Limitations Get Real
LiveLike’s rapid uptake also meant rapid growth. It now has operations in New York, Paris and Gurgaon, India and a staff of 50.
Yet, its existing QuickBooks system wasn’t equipped to handle its growth or the addition of the Indian subsidiary. Working with an outsourced accounting agency, Chan spent significant time on manually reconciling journals and bank accounts.
“Given our more complex, foreign operations, it became clear we needed something more robust, with integrations in to accounts payable and T&E,” Chan said. “We wanted a scalable cloud solution that could increase transparency and decrease manual processes.”
LiveLike chose NetSuite over Intacct and FinancialForce based largely on recommendations Chan received from former colleagues and other people in finance.
LiveLike went live on NetSuite OneWorld, NetSuite’s global business management solution, in April 2016 after a three-month implementation. With OneWorld, LiveLike is positioned to continue to grow and capitalize on the rising demand for immersive sports experiences.
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