One of the biggest Grand Slams of the world tennis calendar, Australian Open, is all set to revolutionise fans’ experience, by introducing them to AO metaverse and NFTs.
The first Grand Slam event of the world tennis calendar, Australian Open (AO), has collaborated with Decentraland (MANA), the well-known virtual reality platform, to bring the tournament to metaverse. As per a press release shared by the event’s organisers, the tennis fans will also get the opportunity to purchase non-fungible tokens (NFTs) directly linked to the live match data.
A like never before experience for the spectators
With Omicron cases on the surge in Australia, the tennis event’s organisers have decided to bring the party to Decentraland metaverse, for both national and international spectators.
As per reports, the tournament will happen simultaneously in Decentraland, via a live stream. Visitors will be allowed to visit the AO Decentraland, the 3D VR (virtual reality) metaverse environment, and explore various aspects of the Grand Slam event. They’ll get to interact with players, compete in challenges, view AO matches, visit restaurants, observe the Rod Laver Arena, and be a part of the broader AO Decentraland global party.
This comes as great news for spectators who wanted to watch the Australian Open live, in person, but were apprehensive because of the Covid-19 pandemic scare.
The Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said, “With this next wave of technology, global tennis fans will have the opportunity to be part of the 2022 Australian Open in a way never before available. The AO has always been seen as one of the most innovative sporting events in the world and this project is just another example of our team pushing the boundaries to provide our fans with better access and engagement with the AO.”
Ridley Plummer, the project manager for Tennis Australia further spoke about the rationale behind the step and said, “We want the AO to be the world’s most accessible and inclusive sports and entertainment event and with the unique challenges fans have faced getting to Melbourne we’ve fast-tracked our launch into the Metaverse.”
You can stay tuned into the happenings in the AO Metaverse by following its Twitter handle @AOmetaverse.
Australian Open NFTs on offer too
Apart from the above metaverse experiences, people will also be able to buy from 6,776 non-fungible tokens called the “Art Ball NFTs.”
Each one of these collectible tokens will correspond to a designated 19cm x 19cm plot on the tennis court. If a winning shot from any of the 400+ tennis matches to be played in the 2022 championship lands on that plot, the NFT’s metadata will get updated to reflect that match’s result. The NFT’s buyer will receive an airdropped footage of the respective winning point, virtual wearables, merchandise and added benefits in the future.
The NFT owner also stands to receive the physical tennis ball from the match, used in that game, in the event that any of the 11 championship points lands on the concerned plot. The ball will arrive in a specially handcrafted case, designed exclusively for the promotion.
The NFTs will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain on Jan 13, 2022 and sold at 0.067 ETH each. The AO Decentraland on the other hand will go live starting Jan 17, coinciding with the start of the actual physical tournament.