The Australian Open Swings Into The Metaverse, Will It Be An Ace?

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The Australian Open (“AO”) is one of the major professional tennis events of the year, with a global audience of approximately one billion spectators. This year, in partnership with Tennis Australia and Decentraland, the Australian Open is fully immersed in the world of NFT and Metaverse.

“We had over 812,000 people attending AO2020 – a record year for us. Numbers were significantly lower in 2021, although we are seeing great ticket sales until AO2022. We will definitely have a drive to return from Melbourne Looking forward to seeing the sport live and we can’t wait to see hundreds of thousands of people back on campus enjoying AO’s festival of sports and entertainment,” said Cedric Cornelis, Chief Commercial Officer, Tennis Australia

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Metaverses such as Decentraland and Sandbox are virtual worlds where users can own, develop and interact with digital lands through their VR headsets or Internet browsers. These crypto and NFT-enabled digital universes are increasing global user engagement by hosting high profile events and experiences. In October, Decentraland hosted the popular Metaverse Festival with musical guests and performances from Deadmau5, 3LAU, and Paris Hilton.

AO Decentraland follows in these footsteps and will be the first major sporting event to be held in the Metaverse. For the duration of the tournament starting Monday, January 17, fans will be able to log in to Decentraland and explore the virtual recreation of AO and lasts for a fortnight. They’ll be able to explore the complex, complete challenges, watch historical AO content, and interact with players and other fans, all from their laptops.

“We see ourselves first and foremost as an entertainment service,” said Ridley Plummer, Metaverse and NFT Project Lead at Tennis Australia. “We have improved the direction of AO in the last five years. In addition to watching tennis, people come to AO because they want to eat great food, go shopping, have drinks with friends, and listen to live music. It has become a festival of entertainment. The natural progression of this real-life experience is to recreate it in the metaverse as well, giving fans an even better experience than what’s found onsite.

AO Art Ball NXT Collection

Also, January 12th, the Australian Open is launching the AO Art Ball NFT Collection, which includes 6,776 unique NFTs. The NFT Collection applies generative art through the use of algorithmic combinations of various color schemes, patterns and textures, ensuring that each AO Art Ball NFT is unique in appearance, thanks to the fuzz on the ball.

Most interestingly, the metadata for each art ball NFT will be linked to a 19-centimeter by 19-cm plot of each tennis court surface. If the winning shot from any of the 400 professional matches falls on that plot, NFT metadata is used in real-time to uncover match information (such as the players of the match, tournament round, match scores, and more). will be updated. When one of the 11 Championship Points lands on the plot, the NFT owner concerned can claim and receive a Championship Points tennis ball from the match in a handcrafted case.

Cedric commented, “At the Australian Open, we have a continued desire to push the boundaries of a sporting event, striving to expand our existing channels, expand our existing channels and increase the event’s reach for more fans.” should do.” “The Metaverse will be of interest to fans who are not engaged in the sport but may have other interests, providing an opportunity to diversify into the realm of technology and innovation beyond the game of tennis.”

The collaboration is an early experiment in how game data can be integrated directly into the NFT, while providing a truly immersive experience in the metaverse. This inaugural NFT drop will be followed by other giveaways, NFT drops, events and merchandising opportunities. The team sees this first step as an important part of their larger Web3 strategy in which fans will have different components of a new digital-native tennis community.

Decentraland has indicated a long-term commitment to working with Tennis Australia and the Australian Open. Adam De Kata, Head of Partnerships, Decentraland, said, “Beyond this first NFT Drop and Metaverse event, we will continue to build the digital community around the Australian Open. This Genesis Collection will serve as a whitelist for future NFTs and experiences. Tennis Australia and the Australian Open are providing an incredible array of resources, assets and data. Together we are exploring the unknown, and the playbook is being actively written.”


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