Manchester City partners with Sony to build the Etihad Stadium on the Metaverse

  • England football club, Manchester City, is joining forces with tech firm Sony to build the Etihad Stadium on the metaverse.
  • A metaverse space will cut geographical barriers for fans, and increase interactivity between fans and players, among other advantages.

Premier League title holders Manchester City has partnered with Japan’s largest tech and media conglomerate, Sony, to build on the metaverse. The two are developing a virtual replica of Etihad Stadium – the iconic home of the football club. The three-year agreement, according to a Feb. 18 announcement, will have Sony provide virtual reality experts. The personnel will utilize Hawk-Eye’s image analysis and skeletal tracking technology to develop the club’s central hub in the metaverse.

Of note, Hawk-Eye – a subsidiary of Sony – is a computer vision system renowned for enhancing sports viewership for fans and officials. With it, officials can make real-time in-game judgments using specialized replay technology. These visualization applications will be useful in developing the Etihad Stadium on the metaverse.

Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium comes to the Metaverse

Manchester City, currently England’s top soccer team, is hoping to improve their fan experience with the new venture. A home on the metaverse creates an immersive setting that is very similar to reality. Such comes as a relief to fans who are unable to attend the team’s physical matches on account of Covid travel restrictions. A metaverse stadium also does away with geographical barriers so that fans can be part of live and recorded matches.

Additional benefits of the virtual space, according to City Football Group’s chief marketing officer Nuria Tarre, are:

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 differently through different angles and you can fill the stadium as much as you want because it’s unlimited, it’s completely virtual.

Even more, a metaverse stadium increases interactions between Man City and its fans. It also gives them both a chance to utilize virtual assets which are increasingly gaining traction.

Soccer forays into metaverse spaces

Rivals of Manchester City may follow suit in the foray into Web3 and the Metaverse to channel in more revenue. One of them is Liverpool FC, famously known as The Reds, per Liverpool news outlet ECHO. Manchester United’s metaverse plans preceded those of Man City. CNF reported that the former entered a partnership with Tezos (XTZ) early this month. Tezos will become the team’s official crypto asset, its training kit sponsor, and likely its developer of digital merchandise. 

On top of that, Man United alumni players – the legendary Gary Neville and Paul Scholes – recently announced the release of a sports-centric DAO. The decentralized autonomous organization will be useful in making strategic investments in soccer-related firms and projects. The duo has extensive experience in investments in sports and blockchain, having made a comparable product that was backed by Christiano Ronaldo.

Related: Tezos scores $27M deal with Manchester United as Baby Doge partners with TSG Hoffenheim

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