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Planetarium Giant Bringing ‘Shared Reality’ Experience to Sports

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Planetarium Giant Bringing ‘Shared Reality’ Experience to Sports

Planetariums have long given science fans the opportunity to explore distant galaxies up close. Later this year, the company that powers more than 700 immersive space centers around the world (along with countless amusement park attractions) will introduce a next-gen sports media experience.

“We can meet the hospitality standards that fans want, give them the connectivity and energy of the crowd we know everybody wants, and couple that with [immersive front row] viewpoints,” Jeb Terry (president and CEO, Cosm) said. “So, [we’re] really [bringing together] the best of at-home and the best of in-stadium.”

The Cosm Experience Center in Salt Lake City has been holding demonstrations for select private audiences. Cosm’s first two public venues will open their doors later this year (see: Los Angeles in late Q2, Dallas in Q3).


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Founded in 2020, Cosm is comprised of four companies that were rolled up across three separate transactions. 

“The anchor is a company called Evans & Sutherland that has been around since the 1960s,” Terry said. “One of [its] core products [is] planetariums.” 

In fact, E&S is the planetarium industry leader. The company developed (and continues to iterate on) the tech stack that underpins a large portion of the immersive space experiences globally, and its manufacturing arm designs, engineers, and produces the dome structures that show them. 

Now, Cosm is bringing its capabilities to sports and entertainment. And the expectation is the outcome will be ‘transformational’ for fans seeking a new form factor.

“The content is just going to blow [their] mind,” Terry said.

Cosm takes high-resolution (think: 8K or greater), low-latency (think: <5 seconds) streams from sporting events around the world, along with the footage its own on-site cameras capture, and renders the images on large overhead LED displays that make the viewer feel as if/she is there–and in the best seat in the stadium the entire time. 

“Whatever is coming down the pipeline, whatever is now the best technology in the world in the immersive space [is what we leverage],” Terry said. “AR, VR, XR, MR.”

But Cosm isn’t a theatre-like viewing experience, like planetariums tends to provide. 

Sports “fans want to get up, move around, drink beers, hang out,” Terry said. “Just look at the NFL Draft or the Deer District [in Milwaukee], fans [gather] outside [to watch] games together.”

While Cosm venues will have box seating inside the dome, they’ll also include an adjacent high-end gastropub concept that fans can wonder into. That area will feature a 15x150 foot LED wall.

Imagine “the coolest club section at the arena,” Terry said.

Fans will be able to bounce back and forth between the two areas watching the game the entire time.

“Then you couple that with great F&B, the energy, and the crowd, and that's where you kind of hit on [Cosm’s] magic,” Terry said.

The company executive refered to the overall experience as ‘shared reality’. 

Cosm isn’t meant to be an alternative for going to the game (see: small nature of its venues). 

Its goal is to be in the consideration set anytime a fan goes out socially. The hope is fans will check to see what games/events are being shown at their local Cosm before making other social engagements.

“The key is the live window,” Terry said. Fans “can come back [to Cosm] and see a new game, a new match, a new event every time.”

Cosm venues will show a mix of local and national sports programming. Its ‘studios’ team is creating original content for when there isn’t a live event going on, or at least one the company has the rights to show (think: immersive art, music). 

Cosm, which already had deals in place with the NBA, UFC, and TNT Sports, recently announced a new multi-year pact with NBC Sports. The partnership adds international soccer, college sports (think: Notre Dame & B1G football) and horse racing to its growing rights portfolio.

Cosm’s business model centers around ticketed events and upscale F&B, which it plans to pair with select content. Private events (think: watch parties), sponsorships, and activations are expected to drive revenues too.

“All of those big elements that you see in stadiums and arenas, but right sized down and then put across a big network effect of venues,” Terry said.

Ticket pricing will be affordable. Terry said the base ducat price will cost less than a movie ticket. 

There will be more expensive options for those seeking a premium experience. But Cosm isn’t trying to create an exclusive night club vibe. 

“The target demo is every fan out there of whatever IP we’re showing,” Terry said. “Especially, those who can’t [easily] get to the game.”

While one could envision Cosm venues becoming a destination for fans to gather when the home team is on the road, they’re not all be going to be directly adjacent to stadium projects like the one in L.A. (see: North Texas). In fact, considering the company’s growth ambitions, it’s likely the majority will not be. 

Cosm would not reveal how many venues it plans to build globally. 

“We like to look at Top Golf scale, though,” Terry said.

Top Golf currently has more than 100 venues and holds ambitions to grow further.

Cosm has not done a formal external raise to date. Mirasol Capital founder and RealPage CEO Steve Winn has underwritten the business.

Logic suggests it may have to to reach the scale desired with such a capital-intensive business.

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