Hearts 3D match programme is first in country

Along with a pie and Bovril, they have been a staple of the football terraces for decades.

Now the humble football programme has been given a modern makeover with Hearts producing Scotland’s first 3D edition.

Fans can expect players to jump out of the one-off special, which will be packed with dozens of 3D images.

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Accompanied by 3D glasses, the edition – available at the usual cost of £3 – will be available at Hearts’ weekend match against Kilmarnock.

The release of the programme has already attracted inquiries from as far afield as America.

The Tynecastle club expects demand to be “extremely high” and has advised customers to secure their copy early or pre-order.

Professor Joe Goldblatt, executive director of the International Centre for the Study of Planned Events at Queen Margaret University, said the 3D programme would prove a relatively inexpensive way to drive up ticket sales.

He said: “This is a way of creating a bit of a buzz.

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“Since the 1930s football and other sports related enterprises have used promotions to increase ticket sales. This is especially true among teams historically not as successful in winning as their competitors. It’s the next big idea.”

Brian Johnson of Almondvale Programmes, which specialises in football programmes and memorabilia, described it as a “gimmick” designed to combat falling sales.

“It sounds a bit gimmicky. Pretty pictures are nice but it’s not what people buy a programme for, it’s club information,” he said.

“But on the other hand, programme sales have fallen in the past 15 years, now you can get all of the information online from club websites.

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“Then again, programme collectors tend to be from the older generation – I don’t know many kids who are buying them.

“This could be an attempt to get the kids back into buying them and collecting them again.” The decline in sales of matchday programmes has lead to fears the publications could come to an end.

In 2011, the SPL announced it was considering the introduction of a nationwide publication, which it hoped will be more appealing to supporters while driving down costs and increasing revenue.

The proposal was rejected by both Hearts and Hibs supporters clubs, who said such a move could put the identity of individual clubs at risk.

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Brian Stock of 442 Sports Marketing, who produced the programme, said it was hoped the 3D programme would be well received by “young and old”.

He said: “The programme is an important part of the match day experience so any promotions or new ideas to raise its profile is always good in our book.”

A Hearts spokesperson said: “A lot of time and effort from a number of people goes into our matchday programme and it is rightly regarded as one of the best in the country.

“This is another exciting development which will get the fans talking and the initial feedback has been very positive. Demand is sure to be high so fans should pre-order now to make sure they don’t miss out on the one-off special.

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“We are sure the programme will prove popular and have had inquiries from fans as far afield as America.”

A new dimension

1844: David Brewster introduces the Stereoscope, a device for taking “stereo photographs”.

1851: A 3D photo of Queen Victoria is displayed at The Great Exhibition in 1851.

1890s: British film pioneer William Friese-Greene files a patent for a 3D movie process.

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1922: The earliest confirmed 3D film shown to a paying audience, The Power of Love, premiers at the Ambassador Hotel Theatre in Los Angeles.

1952: Touted as the world’s first feature-length 3D movie, Bwana Devil is released in the USA, starting golden era of 3D.

1980s: A new Hollywood 3D craze started by the spaghetti western Comin’ at Ya! launches a new 3D boom which includes Amityville 3D, Friday the 13th Part III and Jaws 3D.

2009: James Cameron’s film Avatar is hailed as the best 3D film to date and pushes 3D towards the mainstream.

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