Last Sunday, Italy’s Serie A league broadcast a soccer game in the metaverse. The feat was enabled by league sponsor TIM technology, blockchain technology firm ConsenSys, and blockchain gaming metaverse The Nemesis.
The game was between AC Milan and Fiorentina, two popular teams. The broadcast in a Nemesis metaverse room was available to viewers in North Africa and the Middle East. Besides watching the game, attendees could also play related games, access Serie A’s social channels, check the match’s live statistics, and have their avatars wearing branded T-shirts. Users needed an Access Ticket non-fungible token (NFT) to enter the room.
Despite entertainment companies expanding uses for the metaverse, broadcasting live games is not yet a common application. Still, the culture around game watching and sports could make metaverse broadcasting appealing. It would have been even better during COVID lockdowns.
Live games have a sense of community where people can share a common experience, rooting for the same thing. Geographical logistics restrict fans’ ability to watch a live game, and it is not always convenient or possible to find a bar to share the experience.
Another aspect is that younger people are spending ever more time online. One current concern in football is how to engage and retain younger audiences. Offering the possibility to watch games with friends without leaving their digital world is one potential way toward that goal.
“We want to be as close as possible to our users: young people spend their time in the Metaverse,” commented Lega Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo. “We are trying to be the first football league to express the concept of innovation. It’s like watching a match with other people, in a shared immersion of the football experience.”
“Nobody wants to take poetry or humanity away from football. A modern league has to put technology at the service of entertainment, in this case in a virtual stadium, in a function that is a little closer to a video game. We are trying to ‘engage’ more the younger generation, otherwise fragmented and dispersed”.
Besides this initiative, Serie A already has a partnership with Socios for fan tokens and most of its clubs are on Sorare’s fantasy NFT platform, including AS Roma, Internazionale Milano, Juventus, and AC Milan. Crypto.com is also a partner of the league and has launched NFTs with it.