now it a field of dreams. On Thursday, the Atlanta Braves unveiled the first MLB stadium to be built by the Metaverse, an online replica of Truist Park that hosted several hundred visitors on the first try.
“We strongly believe that these types of virtual environments are the future of how fans use digital content in sports,” Braves Vice President of Marketing and Innovation Greg Mize said during a press release. conference.
Atlanta was originally inspired by Travis Scott, who performed a ‘concert’ inside fortnite for nearly 30 million players in 2019, according to Mize. The team built what they call Digital Truist Park (which, if one bites, still beats a metaBraverse portmanteau) on the same Unreal engine that runs the popular video game, with help from the event platform Virtual Surreal Events.
On Thursday, fans can join in the experience from their computers, create a customized avatar before exploring the site, find hidden objects, and interact with other newcomers. or as well as members of the Atlanta organization.
“The younger generation is native to these platforms,” Mize said. “fortnite for this generation is Instagram or Facebook from the previous generation. Here they interact. Here they consume. Here they socialize. That’s why we really want to be the first to create experiences, obviously to get our fans involved today, but also to lay the foundation for the fan of tomorrow.
Maybe it wasn’t just the New World of the Braves in a long time. MLB has partnered with the adventure club as part of a newly formed working committee exploring other opportunities in the metaverse.
“We’re going to move as quickly as we can,” MLB chief operations and strategy officer Chris Marinak said in a video call. “I think a lot of people will look and pay attention to see what are the components of success, what are the opportunities for growth, and I think you can see rapid growth from other club after that. ” Marinak referred to the Chicago Cubs as a particularly interested team.
In particular, the Braves and Cubs built a large fanbase decades ago through numerous television exposures on TBS and WGN. Now they seem determined to find the same success with HTTP and HTML.
“We definitely feel that at some point it will be mostly in terms of how people watch live games,” Mize said. “We found a place where you would watch a Braves game live on the Digital Truist Park video board and you and your avatar would sit on the grass in the outfield with four other avatars around you from your family and friends. “
In addition to attracting new fans, the Braves are also interested in knowing what kind of new dollars will be discovered in the digital realm.
Future fans, for example, could one day purchase virtual merchandise from the team store for their metaverse avatar. The Braves are also exploring sponsorship-activation opportunities in their new home, such as testing a new car on pixelated grass.
“The possibilities are endless,” said NextTech Solutions CEO Evan Gappelberg. “These will make teams of bigger (global) brands.”
Already, Braves partner companies can check out their hyperspace park logos, as new marketing opportunities emerge in the digital world. Coca-Cola Co., one of the team’s sponsors, recently partnered with Epic Games to launch a drink-inspired game to be released on fortnite before it hits real life shelves.
“Over time, we look at this area to really be a source of income, like the physical area,” Mize said.
In the name of verisimilitude and smart enterprise, the digital stadium includes a 60-acre mixed-use development (The Battery) located next to IRL Truist Park.
The fan destination, where companies like Papa John’s and TK Elevator have moved their headquarters in recent years, includes restaurants, residences and shops. Gappelberg believes that virtual exposure to these spaces not only provides opportunities to sell digital assets such as NFTs, but the increased visibility could translate into more foot traffic in real life. life too.
“There are a lot of people who go to restaurants to support their team,” he said. “The team can be part of the fabric of their lives. It’s not just game night, it’s everyday.»