It’s finally here! Shark Week, television’s longest-running and most anticipated summer event, kicked off on Sunday, June 26 with an all-new episode of Tiger Beach at 8/7c and will continue through Sunday, July 3.
Expanding to more than 220 countries and territories this year, Shark Week is a pop culture event that transcends television – and is continually giving faithful fans and new viewers opportunities to experience Shark Week in exciting and fun ways!
For the first time ever, Shark Week will be available in virtual reality and 360 video through the Discovery virtual reality apps for iOS, Android, Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus, and on Shark Week’s Facebook page and Discovery Channel on YouTube.
Over the next week, eight virtual reality experiences are rolling out, allowing fans to dive in head first into the underwater world of sharks in a way they’ve never seen before.
Whether it’s joining Australian Navy diver Paul de Gelder underwater as he shares his story of survival after being personally attacked by sharks in Surviving Sharks or going on a special dive with marine biologist Dr. Craig O’Connell, as he takes viewers on a special dive of his favorite sites in Sharks Among Us: A New Way, fans have the ability to access Shark Week in a new augmented reality experience.
Within the Discovery virtual reality apps is also a 360-degree interactive game that takes place in the environment of each user and provides an up-close and personal exhibit of his or her favorite sharks in a unique mobile setting. Other apps, like Hungry Shark Evolution and Hungry Shark World, are available on all major App stores, to provide fans with even more interactive Shark Week fun.
Say “No” to Shark Finning
Last week, a bi-partisan bill was introduced on Capitol Hill, the “Shark Fin Trade Elimination Act,” that helps protect sharks from extinction by banning the buying and selling of shark fin products in the U.S. Fans wishing to join the many congressmen and senators who support it can visit SharkWeek.com/SaveSharks, an advocacy site that matches users with their respective federal elected officials who then receives a letter from their constituent urging support of the legislation and for the survival of the shark species.
Volunteer to Protect Our Planet’s Oceans
This spring, Discovery Communications announced its extended partnership with VolunteerMatch, the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, as a national media partner to raise awareness and drive volunteerism. For Shark Week, a PSA with characters donned in shark fin hats will run through Sunday, July 3 encouraging passionate TV viewers to be matched with good causes in their communities. Fans can find volunteer opportunities to help our oceans and enter their volunteer group to win a set of Shark Week fin hats (and even learn how volunteers and sharks are similar!).
On-The-Ground, In-Person Fin Fun
This year Discovery has partnered with Macy’s to bring jaw-dropping Shark Week experiences to select stores around the country. Displays at Herald Square in New York City, Beverly Center in Los Angeles, State Street in Chicago and Union Square in San Francisco are not only jaw-some, but also feature an augmented reality experience available via Discovery VR on Android and iOS devices, where fans can virtually swim with sharks – and take selfies with them to share with friends!
Fans can also take a bite at custom shark-themed cupcakes, 2016 Shark Week Dozen, from returning partner Georgetown Cupcake and enjoy two tasty exclusive Cold Stone Creamery Shark Week products: the popular “Shark Week Frenzy” as well as The Great Blue Cupcake ice cream cupcakes, available now until July 5. Cold Stone Creamery will also be giving away Shark Week prize packs, and fans will be encouraged to share a photo of their delicious Shark Week creation using #SharkFrenzyContest for a chance to win.
The fun doesn’t stop there! Shark Week is now seen in 11 Six Flags locations across the country, including a custom roller coaster wrapped in a Shark Week design at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Los Angeles. Fans can also swim with inflatable sharks inside the wave pools at participating water parks, allowing them to enjoy even more thrills this season.
And if the keeping two feet on the ground isn’t your thing, you’re in luck! Southwest Airlines has introduced a Shark Week-themed aircraft to its fleet. Emblazoned with fascinating sharks, the custom Boeing 737-700 is surfing the sky across the United States. What’s more, customers onboard Southwest flights will have the opportunity to watch exclusive Shark Week content onboard WiFi-equipped aircrafts via free live television, including a first look at Jungle Shark. Southwest Airlines and Discovery are also sending a fan and his or her family on an adventure to see the majestic sharks in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in the “Dare to Dive” sweepstakes. Visit www.southwest.com/sharkweek to enter for a chance to win.
Other partners include 7 Eleven, Lokai, Hitcase, Cold Stone Creamery, Great Clips, Oceana, Knockaround Sunglasses and apps Hungry Shark Evolution and Hungry Shark World.
Happy Shark Week!