Manchester City, the Current Premier League Champions have outlined plans to construct their Etihad Stadium in the Metaverse, which could potentially allow fans from all over the world to watch live games.
The Metaverse has been a hot topic the past six months and has generated significant interest from musicians, sports franchises, fashion brands and financial institutions.
Manchester City First Stadium In The Metaverse
Manchester City, in partnership with Sony, and its subsidiary, Hawk-Eye Technology is taking the initiative to build the first football stadium in the Metaverse. Hawk-Eye will be using analysis and skeletal tracking technology to recreate Etihad in the Metaverse.
While the project is still in its very early stages, Manchester City hopes to transform Etihad Stadium, making it a central hub for Manchester City in the Metaverse. Club officials hope the virtual Etihad could be filled many times over in the near future, providing opportunities for City fans across the globe to virtually visit the stadium in the digital world.
Virtual Opportunity For Global Fans
Sony has already begun mapping the stadium digitally. a process that could revolutionize how fans engage with the club and the stadium in the future. City Football Group’s Chief Marketing and Fan Engagement Officer, Nuria Tarre, shed light on the potential of the project, stating,
“The whole point we could imagine of having a metaverse is you can recreate a game, you could watch the game live, you’re part of the action in a different way through different angles, and you can fill the stadium as much as you want because it’s unlimited, it’s completely virtual. But you’re also in control of what you want to be watching at that time. There’s not one broadcast point of view. You can look at it through any angle of the stadium. That’s the sky – the limit.”
As a result of the partnership fans could see increased engagement opportunities with players and also the chance to purchase digital assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The project’s ultimate goal is to allow City’s world wide fan base to experience the setting of a live Manchester City home game, all from the comfort of their own home.
Impact On Premier League Broadcasting Rights?
If Manchester City’s move into the Metaverse takes off, it could have significant ramifications on the Premier League and the current distribution of broadcasting rights. Currently, the Premier League sells broadcasting rights to broadcasters, while clubs also have specific broadcasting rights.
With the Metaverse, clubs can air their home games in the Metaverse, which would remove the need for broadcasters. Clubs may also look at ways to sell match broadcasts directly to fans through the Metaverse in the future.
City Fan Token Deal With Socios.com
In March, 2021, Manchester City partnered with Socios.com, to launch the $CITY Fan Token on the Socios app. The Fan Token allows holders to engage with and influence the club in several ways, such as promotions, voting rights, VIP rewards and more. Later in November, the $CITY token was listed on the Binance exchange.
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