English Premier League football club Manchester City has entered into a partnership with Sony to develop new digital fan experiences, including a virtual recreation of the Etihad Stadium.

It is hoped the partnership will create a global online fan community where fans can interact with the club and each other through an online ‘metaverse’ which will centre on a virtual version of the 53,000-capacity stadium.

City will conduct a proof of concept with Sony to leverage the company’s technologies with the club’s fan base to develop new forms of digital content.

City will mark Sony’s first partner in the ‘sports innovation’ space, with the agreement designed to build on the company’s successful digital fan experiences in music and the wider entertainment industries.

Nuria Tarre, chief marketing and fan experience officer at City Football Group, which owns the club, said: “At Manchester City we have a strong pedigree of continuously embracing the latest technologies to enhance our operation – with particular focus on exploring ways to engage and entertain our global fan base.

“This partnership with Sony puts City at the development stage of an exciting project that will create immersive digital fan experiences that have never been seen before in football. We’re looking forward to launching this collaboration and bringing together Sony’s industry-leading technologies with the global network of Manchester City fans.”

Toshimoto Mitomo, officer in charge of Sony’s intellectual property and business incubation platform, added: “Through this PoC, Sony will support Manchester City to further increase the value of its content and engagement with its fans around the world.

“Sony aims to create an online fan engagement platform that brings the club and its global fans closer together, demonstrating our commitment to the sports entertainment business and supporting our partners in seeking new opportunities.”

Image: Manchester City