The Argentine Football Association (AFA) has launched a virtual stadium project allowing fans to support the national team at the forthcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The launch of the project comes after the AFA last month agreed a commercial partnership with MetaLantis, focused on the development of products for the metaverse. Through this agreement, the company has developed the official virtual stadium of the Argentine national team in what the AFA claims is a first for international football.
The venture will allow fans to watch Argentina’s games in the virtual stadium, socialising with fellow supporters. The Página 12 newspaper said the fan experience will extend to multi-view camera technology allowing users to enter the field of play, walk alongside the players, and watch the game from any angle.
MetaLantis has set free access and VIP membership tiers. Only 1,986 annual VIP Passes (MetaSeats) will be available in this month’s first global release. VIP membership will grant fans benefits such as the ability to add their name and number to their avatar’s jersey, access to multiple Argentina kits, musical instruments and exclusive avatar customisation such as tattoos.
They also won’t be restricted to making only 20 friends, will have full access to AFA content and games, and be granted exclusive seat naming rights and a digital certificate. The AFA has been prolific in the digital fan engagement and partnership space, with Leandro Petersen, commercial and marketing director, stating last month: “We are pleased to announce this commercial agreement with MetaLantis, becoming the first national team to officially appear in the metaverse.
“The global expansion process that we started four years ago grows day by day, increasing the volume of income of our Association, generating new strategic agreements and, most importantly, expanding business units with the aim of obtaining commercial growth and economic strength.
“As we enter the metaverse… our fans will be able to experience unique content, celebrate the successes of the national team and enjoy new digital experiences.”
Virtual stadium ventures are increasing in the sports sector. Swiss luxury watch brand Hublot recently partnered with MEIS architects to launch a metaverse stadium project ahead of the start of the 2022 World Cup.
The ‘Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium’ represents the company’s first entry into the metaverse. Hublot serves as a FIFA-branded licensee for Qatar 2022 under a long-running partnership with world football’s governing body.