Manchester City star’s Jack Grealish, Ilkay Gündoğan, Rúben Dias and Alex Greenwood have joined forces with cryptocurrency exchanger and Web3 company OKX to launch an immersive metaverse experience designed for fans.
The ‘OKX Collective’ will enable Manchester City fans to interact with their favourite players on a more intimate level through a virtual metaverse environment.
Fans will experience everything the metaverse has to offer, gaining access to special content, experiences and rewards designed around each player’s playing style and personal interests, including exclusive training content, music and NFT-based digital experiences.
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gündoğan said: “Football is all about community, and City fans are the best in the world, so we know the OKX Collective will be an incredible place. I’ve been following developments in Web3 for some time. I can’t wait to learn even more with OKX and bring fans closer to the action."
Winger Jack Grealish added: “Manchester City and OKX are both winners. Combining football and the metaverse brings fans closer to the action! I’ve had a lot of fun bringing my digital profile to life with the support of the Club and OKX.”
With new-age interactive platforms like that of OKX Collective still in their infancy, this will mark the first foray into the metaverse for many fans and players, however, City’s Alex Greenwood is excited to be “heading into the metaverse for the first time”.
He said: “We talk a lot about the evolution of football, and it feels as though exploring this space is the next step. There’s some exciting things to come with this partnership… especially if you like your trainers and digital collectibles!”
Rúben Dias shares his teammate’s enthusiasm for the partnership and added: “By giving my fans a glimpse into how I prepare for matchday I hope to showcase the power of the metaverse and continue learning in this fast-moving space. Can’t wait to see what’s next!”
“Web3 has the potential to be bigger than everything that came before it”
The announcement comes in the wake of the Premier League stepping into the world of Web3 by partnering with global sports entertainment company, Sorare, and introducing digital cards of all players from all 20 Premier League clubs as part of its free-to-play online fantasy football game.
Web3 itself is viewed as the third iteration of the World Wide Web and preaches the decentralisation of the internet to bring consumers a more integrated, omnichannel experience like those offered by OKX Collective and Sorare.
Haider Rafique, Chief Marketing Officer at OKX, said: “Introducing elite footballers to our newly established metaverse is about sharing the boundless possibilities of Web3 and inviting fans to experience it first-hand.
“Web3 has the potential to be bigger than everything that came before it, and this is just a taste of the incredible experiences it stands to enable. Let me take this opportunity to welcome Jack, Ruben, Ilkay and Alex to both the OKX family and the incredible world of Web3!”
The incorporation of Web3 platforms into mainstream sports leagues and organisations indicates that the idea of a more decentralised online ecosystem is gaining popularity. Similar immersive experiences to that of the OKX Collective and the Premier League’s partnership with Sorare are likely on the horizon and sports fans may soon find themselves more connected to their favourite athletes than ever.