"Want to meet in the metaverse?”
This is the question people are already asking their colleagues to meet for business meetings. Since Facebook’s big name change to Meta, the “metaverse” has been the hot topic around water coolers globally. In the sports sector, we already see major shifts in sponsorship and marketing initiatives involving the metaverse - and things are only just heating up!
Let’s take a look at one example that’s hot off the press..
The National Football League (NFL) just announced their digital merchandise is now available in the metaverse as part of an extensive relationship with Meta. Using different platforms within Meta, (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram Stories and Direct Messages) fans will have the ability to deeply engage with their favourite players as 3D avatars.
“We’re updating Meta avatars with a lot more expressions, faces, and skin tones, as well as wheelchairs and hearing aids,” said Meta CEO, MARK ZUCKERBERG.
I for one can't wait to engage with these avatars for the upcoming Superbowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals. Meta is also looking to expand more in the experimentation of digital clothing for fans to enjoy in the metaverse and on their social media platforms for future NFL events including the upcoming Superbowl.
For these sports rights holders, the future is bright. Not only does the Metaverse resonate with this younger generation, but it also provides a new entertainment platform for deeper and more meaningful fan engagement.
But wait, it gets better..
We are also seeing live matches being played in the Metaverse Stadium with rights holders leveraging the digital ‘time’ of their fans to commercialise their online attention.
The Manchester City Football Club and Sony partnership is a fantastic example. They have recently partnered to explore the development of a digitally recreated Etihad Stadium for fans to engage with virtual avatars. Similar to Nike creating a digital Oregon HQ within Roblox, and also Roblox launching the partnership with the National Football League (NFL) to create NFL’s shop to buy-in game jerseys and helmets.
Sony has agreed to partner with Manchester City to create more ways for fans to engage and enjoy the club's ‘experiences’ in the Metaverse.
We live in the attention-economy and never has there been a better time for a sports IP owners to leverage the metaverse to engage audiences in a way they have never experienced before.
If you need me, I’ll be… well you know!
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