Australian Open enters the metaverse on Decentraland

Time:2022-01-16 Source: 847 views NFT Copy share

Virtual recreation facilities at Melbourne Park, including Rod Laver Stadium and Grand Slam Park, will be open during the Australian Open.

Tennis Australia has partnered with Decentraland to host the Australian Open (AO), which will be the first official tennis Grand Slam in the Metaverse.

Virtual recreation facilities in key areas of Melbourne Park, including Rod Laver Arena and Grand Slam Park, will be open during the Australian Open. The Australian Open will begin on January 17 for two weeks.

The event will feature exclusive content for virtual visitors, including behind-the-scenes footage from more than 300 cameras around Melbourne Park, including an exclusive player arrival area and practice village.

Australian Open enters the metaverse on Decentraland

In addition to live footage and AO broadcasts, there will be archived footage of tennis matches from the 70s, as well as virtual meetings with tennis players such as Mark Philippoussis, other players yet to be identified.

In a virtual welcome address to Decentraland, Tennis Australia NFT and Metaverse program manager Ridley Plummer said he wanted AO to be "the most accessible and inclusive sport and entertainment in the world".

"As fans face unique challenges as they travel to Melbourne, we have accelerated our entry into the Metaverse," he said.

"Bringing AO into the metaverse is an important step in providing truly global access to our great event."

Australian Open enters the metaverse on Decentraland

This is especially important given the travel restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, making it difficult for many fans to travel to Melbourne to watch the game in real life. The 2021 Australian Open faces a number of challenges, including an all-time low in live spectators and lockdown restrictions.

Despite the timely introduction of the partnership amid the pandemic, AO plans to continue working with Decentraland in the future, Plummer said. "We're going to be involved for the long term," he said.

"The Metaverse isn't going away, and as a company, we're invested in continuing to expand our online presence and push the boundaries of innovation."

Australian Open enters the metaverse on Decentraland

He also added that Tennis Australia was exploring the possibility of opening the Metaverse year-round.

“We certainly consider ourselves more of an entertainment activity than just a tennis activity. Whether we provide entertainment through the Metaverse throughout the year or just a few months, that’s definitely something we’re going to do on our roadmap going forward. decision.”

Australian Open and Sweet form NFT partnership

At the same time, on January 17, AO also announced that it will cooperate with NFT platform Sweet to release six NFT series to commemorate the past 50 years of AO’s history.

The series will be released intermittently between January 17th and 27th to coincide with ballgame times.

Australian Open enters the metaverse on Decentraland

Sweet CEO Tom Mizzone said the NFT distribution provides fans with a "truly new level of access" to the world of their idols.

"We love the idea of turning IP into digital memorabilia and linking those memorabilia to the experience," he added.

Separately, AO launched 6,776 algorithmically created “Art Ball” NFTs on Opensea on January 12.

According to Plummer, the series sold out within three minutes of its public offering, with a minimum price of 0.26 ETH (~$875) and a volume of 223 ETH ($751,287).

This isn't the first competitive tournament the Australian Open has hosted in the Metaverse. In 2020, AO hosted the Fortnite Summer Smash, an esports event with a total prize pool of $100,000.

The Australian Open has had its own drama, with an Australian court rejecting Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic's appeal against a deportation order.

Djokovic has publicly criticized coronavirus vaccinations and said he was granted an entry exemption from the Australian government despite not being vaccinated.

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