Manchester City to create a virtual version of Etihad Stadium in partnership with Sony

Manchester City has partnered with major technology company Sony to create a virtual world of their stadium.

The club made Sony their official Virtual Fan Engagement Partner in order to create the virtual reality which will feature virtual experiences, interactive loyalty programs and customizable avatars.

 The proof of concept (PoC) with Sony will use the football club’s large global fanbase and the technology company’s ground-breaking technologies to develop this experience and potentially other forms of digital content.

The partnership aims to create an immersive experience for fans unlike any others currently available in the football world and allow fans to engage with the club and each other through the virtual world.

By moving into these new technologies the club looks to create a global online community where their fans can interact.

Man City is the first English football club to delve into the ‘metaverse’ but, if it’s successful, likely won’t be the last.

Nuria Tarre, Chief Marketing & Fan Experience Officer at the City Football Group said, “At Manchester City we have a strong pedigree of continuously embracing the latest technologies to enhance our operation”

“We’re looking forward to launching this collaboration and bringing together Sony’s industry-leading technologies with the global network of Manchester City fans.”

Virtual events are becoming more popular across the world.

Twenty One Pilots, a band known for songs such as ‘Heathens’ and ‘Stressed Out’, recently hosted a virtual concert on the gaming platform Roblox.

The experience debuted in September and allowed fans to play interactive games while animated motion captures of the bands’ members dances around performing the song.

In the sporting world, the NFL opened a virtual store in Roblox, offering players the chance to purchase virtual helmets for all 32 teams.

A statement released by Sony said: “We want to create a global online fan community, where fans can gather to interact with other fans, the team and establish new levels of connectivity with the Club within a virtual recreation of the Etihad Stadium.

“The Virtual Etihad Stadium will not only be a realistic rendering of the stadium in Manchester, UK – it will also be a point of access to unique virtual experiences for fans, from fully customizable avatars to next-generation interactive loyalty programs, all new methods of expressing their fandom.”

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