Mastercard lets fans experience full force of rugby tackle

Fans get to feel impact of professional tackle.

Mastercard: sponsor of Rugby World Cup
Mastercard: sponsor of Rugby World Cup

Mastercard is giving fans the chance to feel the impact of a professional rugby tackle in a simulated experience.

By wearing a Teslasuit, which transmits vibrations at the programmed points of impact, fans can feel the force of being tackled by England rugby players Chris Robshaw, Maggie Alphonsi and Jason Robinson.

Taking place today (13 September), in London's Exchange Square, anyone over the age of 16 can don the suit and virtual-reality headset and step on to the pitch. Visitors will be given a real rugby ball and challenged to keep hold of it while they experience seeing the player run into them in VR and feeling the impact via the suit.

Mastercard said that as a partner of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, which starts on 20 September, the experience is designed to "give rugby fans priceless experiences to bring them closer to their passion".

Nicola Grant, head of marketing and communications in the UK, Ireland, Nordics and Baltics at Mastercard, said the brand wanted to "connect fans with their favourite sporting idols in new and unexpected ways. Leveraging the latest virtual-reality and haptic technology means our 'Contactless tackle' event will be like nothing else fans have experienced before.

"If you have ever wondered what it feels like to be tackled by a professional rugby player, come along. For most of us, this is as real as it's going to get!"

In July, Vodafone used a rugby tackle experienced via a Teslasuit to help demonstrate its 5G technology. Professional players from Wasps RFC took part in the stunt, which saw a dummy fitted with sensors tackled, with the impact felt 100 miles away on the suit wearer.