Marketers bring Web3 to the FIFA World Cup with augmented reality, NFTs and virtual worlds

With more than a million football fans expected to visit Qatar during the FIFA World Cup, brands and tech companies are hoping to score points beyond the Middle East region.

The month-Fri tournament, which begins this weekend, will be the first World Cup since Russia in 2018 to enter the “Web3” global lexicon. Now, Official and unofficial sponsors of NFTs; virtual worlds; Augmented reality tools are hoping to capitalize on the hype like linear TV and traditional social media. On the decline.

The collaborations are as diverse as the teams in the competition. for example, In a new World Cup ad from Adidas, the Bored Ape Yacht Club NFT character appears alongside soccer stars Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema. Meanwhile, Other brands such as Visa; Crypto exchange Crypto.com and Swiss watchmaker Hublot are testing new platforms as part of their Qatar 2022 marketing efforts, helping fans create digital art or explore virtual stadiums.

When testing new technologies; The World Cup may be a better bet than any other sport. According to Kantar’s survey of 29,500 football fans from 31 major global markets, football fans seek innovative experiences; More football fans than the global average make friends and buy the latest technology via the internet. They have the potential to earn higher incomes; includes a slightly younger audience; Considered early adopters, they use TV or video viewing.

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The mergers are signs that many brands are still open to exploring new and unique technologies during the month-Fri global event. Chris Ross, a marketing expert at Gartner, said the integration and disruption of social platforms like Twitter – often used in major events for advertising and organic content – is prompting marketers to explore beyond their usual channels.

“As a result of what’s happening with Twitter, marketers may have an appetite to experiment with some other channels,” Ross said. “It’s possible to experiment and take full advantage; But they can also hedge their bets.”

Rather than just reaching people with temporary videos and ads; Other technology platforms are hoping to create new ways for audiences to interact with reality. Upland, created to resemble the world, to create NFT collections; It has partnered with FIFA to bring together digital and in-person viewing parties around the world and showcase exclusive videos. Upland and FIFA branded villages; He also created a replica of Qatar’s Lusail Stadium, complete with showrooms and shops.

According to Upland Co-Founder and Co-CEO Dirk Lueth, Upland goes beyond just scrolling through videos and text in traditional social media feeds to give soccer fans “to talk about.” It includes talking about the game; This includes the digital items they buy and exploring different parts of the virtual world. “I think this is the future of social networks: offering this content that people are looking for,” Lueth said.

Instead of creating NFTs and metaverses, Stadium Live, a Gen Z-focused sports community platform, wants to be a second screen space for fans to chat directly during games. Until recently, The app, which has 150,000 monthly active users, has focused on other sports. However, It recently received funding from soccer star Blaise Matuidi to create videos based on French and Bosnian players. Matuidi to create images and provide pixelated branding materials; Collaboration with players Yohan Cabeye and Miralem Pjanić.

“Brands are recognizing that their fan base is not as resistant to traditional marketing as it once was,” said Mathieu Bilodeau, Marketing Manager of Stadium Live. “This is the first World Cup tournament since Fortnight became big. Sports fans are music fans; Sports fans are art fans; Fashion lovers Many of these brands recognize that the two verticals are highly compatible—especially gaming enthusiasts.

Gaming companies are developing ways to be a part of the World Cup. FIFA recently signed a multi-year partnership with Roblox. Nike partners with car soccer game “Rocket League” and Activision brings Brazil’s Neymar Jr. Along with France’s Paul Pogba and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, “Call of Duty” players are combined to look like soccer stars inside the popular first-person shooter. The shooter.

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Augmented Reality will also be involved this year. on Wednesday, Snap Inc. announced AR features for Snapchatters during the World Cup. With new global AR lenses for many national teams; Snap is also using the competition to debut its new “direct cloth transfer” technology with Adidas, which allows users to see how they look on users based on their body type. . World Cup partners also include Peacock, which will allow users to track stats and use other visual and audio AR lenses with Chevrolet and Samsung. (Snapchat also developed a new interactive AR soccer game exclusively for users in the Middle East.)

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The World Cup is also a way for Snap to market itself at the first major event since announcing a major restructuring in September that included AR as one of three areas of focus.

“The World Cup and the Olympics are two of the biggest global events,” said Clayton Peters, head of Snap’s US vertical. “So we’re bringing the global community into some of these new products; Get feedback and immediately understand how things are working. Not just in one or two major markets, but for a global world with 32 teams competing and millions of eyes watching the sport.”

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