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Infinity Reality announced it has partnered with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports to deliver metaverse experiences to fans for a big track cycling event.
Infinite Reality will provide this metaverse-like experience for the UCI Track Champions League, a new racing series where cyclists race around a velodrome track across a whole season of events. The event organizers say they hope to reimagine what track cycling can be in terms of excitement and accessibility.
“We are the official metaverse/Web3 immersive experience partner of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports,” said Hope Frank, chief marketing officer at Infinite Reality, in a press event.
Infinite Reality is coming off of a $470 million acquisition of RektGlobal, an esports, gaming and entertainment company. It’s pretty serious about this metaverse business.
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Francois Ribeiro, head of Discovery Sports Events, said at a press event that the work proceeded quickly.
“This gives you a taste of the UCI Card Champions League metaverse experience will be like at full scale,” said Ribeiro. “This is the beginning of a new journey. I have to admit straight from the beginning that, for me, this is the coolest thing I have done over my last 20 years.”
The team started work three months ago on the experience.
“This is not broadcast only. This is not digital only or social media only. This is a bit of everything coming together,” Ribeiro said. “I was not familiar with the metaverse six months ago. The first time I met Infinite Reality, I explained to them what Discovery Sports Events is doing. Then I realized what it means to transfer everything into the metaverse to deliver your ultimate digital fun experience. We have decided to start that journey with Infinite Reality.”
He added, “This is something really exciting, which I hope is a very powerful way to connect to a new audience, to enlarge the fan base of a sport, and to be a compliment to media.”
Elliot Jobe, head of innovation at Infinite Reality, said the companies are showing a taste of the new fan experience for the sport.
“We’re so excited to take a lot of tech we are developing and applying it to reality.”
Jobe has 25 years of entertainment and tech experience with things such as films and interactive theme parks. He said you can link to the experience via a web browser using a desktop, laptop or mobile device. You can focus a camera on individual athletes if you want, activating the right camera for that purpose.
“It’s hardware and platform agnostic,” he said. “It’s a whole new way to distribute content that these race fans crave.”
From day one, Card Champions League has always been about innovation and technology, Ribeiro said.
With the help of AWS, he said, “We bring all of the data live in the metadata as a compliment to the multicast experience. Starting with the broadcast screen, you see live from the Velodrome, and you see playback, and it all comes alive. We give fans the ability to connect directly to the camera they want. We put the camera as close as possible to the riders. It’s 100% at the fan’s discretion. That’s something only the metaverse can offer.”
Jobe said, “The medium is such a dynamic one. Fans contribute to the broadcast, and it can lead to additional interactions with athletes.”
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been created for 72 of the riders of the Champions League. Fans can invite friends to go into the League House and socialize while talking about the sport. Fans can check out the NFT gallery and connect with athletes for a short time.
The companies have created a partnership through 2025, and they will release one new metaverse experience across four different Discovery Sports events. This year it is starting with Champions League.
Next year, a new metaverse will come for the FIM Speedway Grand Prix.
Jobe said that the “metaverse experience” is about removing the distance for communication, creativity, and sports entertainment engagement.
“Pulling together fans into a central space, where they are there with other rabid fans who love the sports,” he said.
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