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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Derrick

The Metaverse and Sport: creating an authentic partnership from the get go

Hello, it’s us - SportAZ - not sport this time. Glad we’ve got your attention. So now that we’ve discussed the seven conditions to entering the Metaverse x Sport partnership, we thought we’d put out some ideas - some new, some old, some already in motion - that can meet our conditions and ultimately improve the space of sport for the better.

As ever, we have by no means covered or thought of everything so we’d love to open the floor so to speak and start a fruitful and powerful discussion.

So here goes:

Use the Metaverse for globalisation:

  1. The Metaverse opens up a team, athlete or sport to a global audience when previously it’s been physically inaccessible. Virtual stadium attendance, VR training sessions, virtual meet-and-greets, gaming sessions, collectible NFTs and merchandise.

  2. We hope to also see a way to experience live sport in any timezone without the loss of experience. We love following a live Formula 1 race as well as the live Twitter commentary - watch the race late and you miss the second screen element. The Metaverse is somewhere where this can be overcome.

    1. But remember, make sure the physical is still available for your loyal on-the-ground fans as well as those global fans who want to experience the real thing.

Use the Metaverse for commercialisation:

The commercial opportunities to come from the Metaverse are vast. We couldn’t cover them all if we tried. But some areas we should expect to see in the near future (if not already) are:

  1. Digital extension of memorabilia and merchandise opportunities including an explosion of NFTs, limited edition clothing for you or your virtual avatar, and investment opportunities like owning a piece of the virtual stadium.

  2. Increased opportunity for clothing brands. Like Lewis Hamilton’s pit walk outfit? Through the Metaverse users will be able to click-to-buy direct from the live footage.

  3. Sponsorship bundles bespoke for your brand. Create a bundle of digital and/or physical elements, pre-game virtual activations or in-stadium immersive experiences. The opportunities are widespread, will be across teams, genders and athletes but will no longer be the all-or-nothing structure we see today.

  4. Athletes as brands will continue its rapid growth, with the Metaverse opening up opportunities to create own products that aren’t reliant on huge endorsement deals. Alex Morgan could create the Alex Morgan trainer without the need for it to be Nike, Adidas or Puma. Interaction, as we saw during the pandemic with gaming, will be even more diverse as meet-or-greets move online and access to athletes lives becomes easier and deeper than ever before.

Use the Metaverse to improve experience:

  1. As we said in part one, it’s vital that we marry the physical with the virtual. That what the Metaverse can bring improves the human experience rather than overcomes. One thing we are really looking forward to is the haptic glove - a way for us to feel what we are experiencing in the virtual landscape.

  2. Expect to enjoy a stratospheric change to the pre and post game experience whether you are watching physically at the stadium, in a fan zone, your local pub or back home on the sofa. Essentially, no matter where your bum lays, you can enjoy the same build up.

  3. Make way for minority report style data overlays, personal to you, getting the information you want. Personal screens will be seen more-and-more in stadium and CGI / hologram pop-ups.

  4. We’ve started to see it in the esports arena and it won’t be long until we see virtual theatrics in the traditional sport space. You thought the Super Bowl Halftime Show was big entertainment, wait until you see what can be achieved through the Metaverse.

  5. The Metaverse is likely to be our answer to safer betting. Gambling has increasingly become controversial in the sporting world but for so many fans, betting makes their sport more interesting and is their way of feeling closer to the game. Gamification has been tinkered with over the last few years but the Metaverse is going to swing open the doors for more thrilling competition for fans with live fantasy scores alongside your screen, more intrinsic data points and innovative ways to feel that betting feeling, without the money.

What are you most excited to see as we enter the Web3 generation?

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