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Manchester City head to the metaverse with Sony partnership

Collaboration to explore latest technologies to develop new digital fan experiences.

30 November 2021 Ed Dixon

Manchester City

  • Sony named City’s official virtual fan engagement partner
  • The Etihad Stadium will be recreated in the metaverse
  • Club looking to create a global online fan community where people can interact

English soccer champions Manchester City have announced a global partnership with Japanese conglomerate Sony Corporation to develop new digital fan experiences.

The Premier League outfit will conduct a proof of concept (PoC) with Sony, which will leverage the company’s technologies and City’s fanbase to develop new forms of digital content.

The PoC will seek to leverage Sony’s ‘cutting-edge’ image analysis and sensing technologies, as well as the electronic performance tracking systems developed by Sony’s Hawk-Eye Innovations to engage sports fans from anywhere in the world.

The burgeoning metaverse is at the centre of the collaboration, with both parties aiming to create a global online fan community where fans can interact with City and each other within the metaverse, which will be a virtual recreation of the club’s Etihad Stadium.

The club will also be Sony’s first sports partner in the space, building on the company’s various digital fan experiences in music and the wider entertainment industries.

“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 fanbase,” said Nuria Tarre, chief marketing and fan experience officer at City Football Group (CFG).

“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 intellectual property and business incubation platform at Sony, 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.”

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