Manchester City plans to develop its own metaverse with Sony, the new “virtual fan engagement partner” of the Premier League club. Hawk-Eye, a subsidiary of Sony, will use its image analysis and skeletal-tracking technology to digitally recreate Etihad Stadium for fans to explore with virtual avatars.
Hawk-Eye’s computer-vision technology powers replay review and player tracking across sports with implementations in the NBA, WNBA, MLB, tennis and international soccer leagues. The company was founded in 2001 and acquired by Sony in 2014.
The reigning champions of the English Premier League, Manchester City, have signed a 3-year deal with the company to build a football stadium on the metaverse with the support of Sony's VR experts.
Sony officials visited the Etihad Stadium to digitally map the stadium. This stadium to be built will be the center of Manchester City in the metaverse universe. Thanks to this stadium, team fans will not have to go to Manchester to watch the match and will be able to watch the matches in the stadium to be built. This is exactly what the developers of the project dream of: for the fans, who are difficult or impossible to go to the city of Manchester, to be able to watch the matches as if they were there.
City Football Group's marketing and fan interaction manager Nuria Tarre said in a statement about the metaverse stadium that thanks to the project, there will be many options such as watching the match, meeting the players and purchasing products.
With Facebook, one of the technology giants, changing its name to Meta, we continue to witness the rapid growth of the metaverse universe and its integration into many areas. The football industry, which is followed with great passion by billions of people around the world, does not fall behind this universe. The fact that football is a hit in the metaverse universe has the potential to revolutionize even the way television rights are distributed. While Premier League clubs currently sell match broadcasts to broadcasters in packages, sales can be made directly from clubs to fans in the future.