Barcelona launches Camp Nou VR experience, delves into NFTs

Spanish LaLiga football club FC Barcelona has detailed plans for a new immersive virtual reality experience, while it has also announced the launch of its first-ever range of NFTs as part of plans to drive fan engagement.

The new VR experience, entitled the Barça Virtual Dream, will enable fans to visit the club’s museum and take part in a virtual tour of the Camp Nou.

Fans will be able to walk around Barcelona’s facilities as an avatar with groups of up to 25 people. When selecting their avatar, fans will be able to choose their favourite Barcelona player to walk around as.

The experience will provide supporters with virtual access to Camp Nou changing rooms, while users can also stand in the middle of the pitch and take in views of the stadium.

The experience will last 15 minutes and can be completed as part of the Barça Stadium Tour until October 16, or as a separate experience on its own. Tickets will cost €22 (£18.70/$22.50) and fans can access the experience in the Grandstand Hall of the Camp Nou.

Meanwhile, Barcelona has presented ‘In a Way, Immortal’ – the first NFT collection in the club’s history. The range will depict Johan Cruyff’s famous volleyed goal against Atlético Madrid on December 22, 1973, after which he became known as the Flying Dutchman.

Barcelona is working with BCN Visuals on the range of NFTs, and the first collection will feature an animated depiction of Cruyff’s goal and four additional still images of the same moment. The NFTs will be auctioned at Sotheby’s, a leading destination for art, luxury and collectibles.

‘In a Way, Immortal’ will be the first range in a collection of 10 works that will be presented by Barcelona in the coming months, with each one to celebrate moments and players from the club’s history.

Barcelona said the NFT drop is in line with the club’s plans to embrace technology and innovation with the aim of educating and inspiring younger fans. Future owners of Barcelona NFTs will be recognised as a ‘Barça digital ambassador’ and receive access to training sessions and other unique benefits.

Other perks will include hospitality rights for a minimum of five years, the right to play at the Camp Nou, the chance to deliver the match ball for friendly games, meet-and-greets, and visits to La Masia.

The Cruyff NFTs have been created by a team of 40 CG and VFX artists in Hollywood. The animated NFT lasts 40 seconds and incorporates real sounds from the Camp Nou and Barcelona fans.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta said: “Barça, with more than 400 million followers on social networks, never stops opening new ways to connect with the fans; and it seems to us that the club’s new NFT strategy offers us a unique opportunity for the Barça brand to continue growing and consolidating.

“We are very pleased to feature Johan Cruyff in our first FC Barcelona masterpiece, ‘In a Way, Immortal’ , because of the enormous influence that Johan had both on FC Barcelona as a club and on the way modern football is played. To be able to reflect it in such an artistic way is a great tribute to Johan Cruyff, to that iconic moment and to the entire legacy and historical heritage of FC Barcelona.”

Eric Sas, founder and head of innovation at BCN Visuals, added: “NFTs have been too quickly linked to the explosion in demand for crypto; however, with ‘In a Way, Immortal’ we return NFTs to the realm of capital art.

“Unlike the basic NFT GIF, this mini-movie is a true work of Renaissance digital art; you could almost call it a piece of marble cut by the most talented visual effects artists in Hollywood. The project wants to become the new benchmark for the next evolution of NFTs, in which new digital works of art resemble the masterpieces of old.”

Image: FC Barcelona