Non-fungible token (NFT) platform SportsIcon unveiled plans for a sports-focused metaverse that will allow athletes to interact with supporters.
The Sports Metaverse will allow users to trade NFTs, buy and develop land and visit stadiums. The London-based company is developing games where users can earn its native token, ICONS, a representative said.
Ownership of the NFTs can also include a masterclass from sporting figures.
“In The Sports Metaverse, I’m going to coach you on how I take a penalty – one of the hardest moments in my job,” Romelu Lukaku, a striker with English Premier League soccer club Chelsea, said in the statement.
Sports players and brands have been considering the metaverse – a conceptualized virtual world – as a way to expand their reach. Adidas teased in November about forming a partnership with The Sandbox metaverse, and in December, Nike purchased an NFT fashion collectibles startup called RTFKT that can be worn in the virtual world.
Manchester City, the 2021 Premier League champion, said in December it was teaming up with Sony to launch a metaverse that replicates its Etihad stadium. It will feature online experiences, customizable avatars and interactive loyalty programs.
SportIcon is in talks to expand the soccer, tennis, mixed martial arts, basketball, baseball players and brands involved.
A public land sale for the Sports Metaverse will take place in June, when the metaverse officially opens. Every person who buys land will get an interactive fan cave where they can display their NFTs, a representative from the SportsIcon team said.
SportsIcon, which is led by CEO Chris Worsey, is backed by Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of digital collectibles company Dapper Labs, Chad Hurley, the founder of YouTube, and Andrew Bogut, an ex-National Basketball Association star.