Manchester City, the current English Premier League champions are all set to enter the Metaverse in partnership with Sony. The partnership was inked on the 18th of this month and will make it the first Premier League football club to enter the Metaverse. In an effort to bring fans closer to them and provide an immersive experience, Manchester City is building their home stadium in the Metaverse. This would enable fans to experience live and recorded matches from anywhere in the world.
This unique venture between Manchester City and Sony will be positioned as the famous teams’ key hub in the Metaverse – a virtual replica of the Etihad Stadium. Manchester City, currently England’s top soccer team, will have its own virtual version of the famous stadium, after signing a three-year agreement with Sony. Under the agreement, Sony will utilize VR experts to deploy image analysis and skeletal tracking technology from its subsidiary Hawk-Eye.
In a statement, Manchester City said that it will provide its fans with all the benefits of a virtual stadium. Fans deprived of a game scenario would be given a big relief with the new virtual stadium offering from Manchester City and Sony.
The football club has decided to bring down geographic barriers to fans who wish to be a part of the game by beginning work on the virtual Etihad Stadium. The Chief Marketing Officer of the City Football Group was quoted as saying that the whole point of having a presence in the Metaverse is that one could watch a live game, be part of a recorded one, and watch it from any angle they desired. One could also fill up the stadium as desired since it would be completely virtual.
Hawk-Eye, a spin-off Sony subsidiary has the experience of enhancing sports experiences for viewers and officials alike. At the moment, the company helps officials make game decisions in real-time by using instant replay technology. Hawk-Eye’s visualization software will form the basis of constructing the Etihad Stadium in the Metaverse.
Experts’ opinion on Manchester City‘s initiative
Many experts feel that having a presence in the Metaverse would increase ownership of virtual items as well as interactivity, and Manchester City appears to have cashed in on the opportunity of giving fans from around the world more accessible to the team and stadium. Experts have also opined that Manchester City’s move into the Metaverse could spark the interest and attention of other football clubs too.
Echoing this sentiment, rivals Manchester United have also established a presence in the Web3 ecosystem via a new partnership with Tezos announced on the 10th of February. Tezos will be Manchester United’s official cryptocurrency and training kit partner and may also help develop digital merchandise for the team.