Virtual-reality videos, private social networks, live locker room footage are few things fans can expect before game starts.
Not every fan can attend Sunday's game, and the Denver Broncos know it.
So to help fans go beyond watching the game on TV or liking "Go Broncos!" posts on Facebook, the team has rolled out new tech to build up excitement before the game.
Just last week, the Broncos' first virtual reality video launched on an app built for fans. And on Sunday, the Broncos will share live, behind-the-scenes footage of players getting ready for the game.
Want to know what it's like to high-five Peyton Manning? Tune in Sunday, starting at 11:35 a.m., when three people wearing Google Glass will mingle with players during warm-ups.
San Francisco's CrowdOptic, which builds software for wearable technology, will capture players prepping for the game and go into places where most cameras don't go.
"The goal is to really provide coverage for Broncos fans everywhere, for the 97 percent of fans who can't be at the game of the decade and experience the pre-game activities," said Jim Kovach, CrowdOptic's senior vice president of business development and a retired linebacker for the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49rs.
Footage will be streamed live for the first time on YouTube ( crowdoptic.com/youtube).
"We'll be on the field and essentially help Broncos fans around the world feel like they're a part of it even if they can't get to the game," Kovach said. "We'll be at the warm-ups, the locker room and other kinds of environments where you can't even get in handheld cameras."
About two weeks ago, the Broncos debuted a private social network for fans that is accessible online or through a new app.
Created by TopFan in Greenwood Village, the site customizes content based on the fan's interests and location — and helps the Broncos get real data on fans.
It's also the only place to find new virtual-reality mini movies. Shot with cameras that captured anything within 360 degrees, the videos put fans on the ground at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High or other spots where players roam.
The first mini movie, featuring a pep rally outside Mile High while the empty stadium comes to life, launched a week ago Friday. Two more videos will launch by Sunday, including one shot at the Broncos training facility in Dove Valley.
Fans don't need fancy virtual-reality goggles or the cheaper Google Cardboard, which starts around a couple of dollars. The video plays like a normal video on a smartphone. But tilt the phone or spin around, and you'll see what is left or right, in the sky or on the ground. Goggles improve the video adding a 3-D perspective.
"You can stand there and see you're in the middle of the Broncos cheerleaders," said Brady Kellogg, Broncos vice president of corporate partnerships. "... Had I seen this last year, we would have moved on this last year."
Immersive videos are the trend for sports this year, said Matthew Kaskavitch, a lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver.
"A lot of professional sports associations are doing it, not just the NFL," Kaskavitch said, pointing to the NHL partnering with GoPro cameras to get more immersive, up-close footage of hockey.
"But I think they (the Broncos) are in the top five echelon willing to take the risk of doing something cutting edge for their fans," Kaskavitch said. "There's such a rabid fan base that they'll eat up any content."
The Broncos had fun mixing technology and fans this season. In the fall, the team introduced a Twitter vending machine where fans could tweet to Bud Light to win a prize. For the past two Thursdays, it has sent the BEAMPro robot to local liquor stores and had former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer video chat with customers.
Compared with others, the Broncos have a more organized digital strategy, said Rick Stevens, an associate professor of media studies at University of Colorado at Boulder.
Back when the Broncos first got on Twitter, it seemed they tweeted once an hour, every hour, he said.
"Then they seemed to analyze it and figure out when certain tweets were attracting more traffic. I don't think a lot of teams have gone that far with it," he said. "Most of the time (for other teams), it's a haphazard approach."
New technologies, such as social networks and virtual reality videos, tend to target existing fans.
"When people use social media, it deepens the connection they already have. It's not necessarily broadening the fan base. Google Glass and the locker room videos may not bring new fans in but bring a fan deeper into the relationship," Stevens said, adding that if content goes viral, then the Broncos get that added outreach benefit.
On Sunday, all the new videos will be released before or after the game. Not during, Kellogg said.
"A lot of this is to building up the excitement before the game," he said. "During the game, we want people screaming and cheering."