An emerging semi-professional ultimate disc league has formed a partnership with an AI-driven company to revolutionize avatars for its players.
The American Ultimate Disc League recently tapped Lensa AI to help turn a first-of-its-kind approach to avatars into a reality for the 2023 season.
Artificial intelligence company Prisma Labs launched the Lensa AI app in 2018.
The photo and video editing platform has become one of the most popular apps on Google Play and the Apple App Store. After the players’ photos are taken, the pictures will be uploaded to create animated avatars.
The league plans to integrate the stylistic avatars into game broadcasts on FS2. The avatars will also be displayed throughout AUDL’s digital spaces. FOX Sports, a unit of FOX Corp. parent to Fox News, will broadcast AUDL games on FS2.
“Avatars created through artificial intelligence represent a new opportunity for sports content,” AUDL CEO Steve Hall said in a news release sent to Fox News Digital.
“We found an exciting way to use photos taken by our players and teams to create elevated graphics with Lensa. While we still have a lot to learn about this technology, I look forward to our league becoming a pioneer in this space.”
Lensa allows users to quickly and easily edit photos and videos by changing colors and backgrounds, cropping, adding music or a variety of other special effects.
“We found that there was an opportunity to progress in the AI space. With so much going on right now in that landscape, we really tried to think about different ways we could utilize the technology to help advance our league,” AUDL’s Senior Director of Product Marketing & Communications Ryan Pierce told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.
“We reached out to Prisma Labs who owns and operates the Lensa app … and they were super interested.”
Over the past couple of seasons, the “NFL on FOX” broadcasts routinely displayed animated graphics of players when they show their stats or after they score a touchdown. Those graphics served as an inspiration for the AUDL.
“Specifically looking at the FOX broadcasts from the past few years of the NFL, really love the way that they incorporate kind of “art of players” in their broadcast graphics … the animated, superhero types of looks. And we thought that would be really cool to utilize in our league,” Pierce noted.
Ultimate Disc is one of the fastest-growing sports in North America. The AUDL operates 24 teams across the U.S. and Canada. The league’s season consists of 13 weeks with games taking place Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays.
Each team plays six games at home and six on the road over the course of the regular season. The top three seeds in each of the league’s four divisions advance to the playoffs.