The Metaverse is where everything is possible in the digital world, and one of the most prominent and active players currently in the space is the sports industry. The sports industry recognizes the potential the Metaverse can offer, and it is evident in how football giant and English Premier League (EPL) champion Manchester City has plunged into this uncharted virtual world with Roblox at its side.
The football club recently unveiled its new third alternative kit for the 2022/23 campaign in the Metaverse through the gaming platform Roblox’s “Land of Games.” It is the club’s first kit launch in the digital space, and it caught the footballing world’s attention.
The jersey’s design sports a neon yellow backdrop called “fizzy light” and three dark, broad stripes. The manufacturer, Puma, called the official color “Paris Night.” The three players from the men’s and women’s teams to wear the kit in real life are Kalvin Philips, Ruben Dias and Laura Coombs.
Puma revealed that the jersey is similar to the Manchester worker bee, a depiction of the city’s industrial history. At the same time, the texture of the three dark bands pays homage to Manchester’s vibrant street art scene. In addition, the event featured the Roblox lobby, which was reskinned to look like the Etihad Stadium. Users also got the chance to play around with the home and away kits. Earlier this year, the club announced that it had partnered with Sony to create a more accurate stadium replica soon.
Gamers, who are City’s fans, also played games and competed against one another to win prizes during the Football Rush event organized by Puma. In addition, digital versions of the new kits were created as bespoke Roblox skins.
Puma will also organize a Football Rush Tournament on YouTube, featuring two teams of five Roblox users competing to split $10,000 between them. They can take the prize money as cash or apply it to Roblox.
Football clubs have been exploring extended reality (XR) for quite a while, with over 35 clubs from different leagues in the United Kingdom having a presence in the digital world. Combining NFT collections, tokens and metaverse interactions has helped fans enjoy unique experiences that enable them to have the best memories of matches, explore some of the most famous stadiums and even create a metaverse iteration of the fans’ virtual selves.
Other football clubs with land in the Metaverse include Real Madrid and arch-rivals Barcelona, who teamed up to file for a joint cryptocurrency and metaverse trademark application.
In May 2022, the Italian Serie A also live streamed a march to audiences in specific markets via the virtual world’s platform, The Nemesis. This made Serie A the first major football league to broadcast a live game in the Metaverse.
While the Metaverse revolution is only just starting, it is clear that the major sporting clubs recognize the potential and possibilities that this digital innovation has. Fans are also gearing up for the different ways they can enjoy watching and interacting with their favorite football clubs.
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