Manchester City will become the first Premier League football club to enter the metaverse after it announced a tie up with Sony to build a virtual replica of its Etihad Stadium.
The virtual Etihad Stadium will be the club’s central hub in the metaverse after the two companies announced a three-year deal which will provide virtual reality to experts to use image analysis and skeletal-tracking technology from subsidiary Hawk-Eye.
Fans of the Manchester-based club will be able to attend matches at their home stadium from anywhere in the world with the virtual offering. They will also be able to be a part of past, recorded games as well.
Manchester City hopes that the new partnership will help to increase its global fan base and community, while also increasing the sense of engagement for fans living abroad.
“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,” City Football Group chief marketing officer Nuria Tarré told Inews.
The Liverpool Echo reported that Liverpool FC could be pondering a similar move after its Premier League title rivals announced its move.
City’s main rivals Manchester United have also penned a deal with Blockchain company Tezos, which will be the club’s official crypto and training kit partner and may also help develop digital merchandise.