As the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar kicked off this week, it is expected to host more than a million soccer fans, with an array of brands and tech companies hoping to score points far beyond the Middle East in various parts of the metaverse.
Apart from that, the blockchain and web3 elements have added a touch of uniqueness to this event. The month-long tournament will be the first World Cup after “Web3” entered the global lexicon since it last took place in Russia in 2018.
Now, official and non-official sponsors are hoping to harness the hype surrounding the competition with a range of NFTs, virtual worlds, augmented reality tools and other trendy tech.
The World Cup even has an official crypto exchange sponsor – Crypto.com – and it’s just one of several decentralized tie-ins for the World Cup, which kicks off in Qatar in November, per a report by Coindesk.
Here are some of the ways the web3 and NFT space has been grabbing more and more attention from mainstream brands during the competition.
- FIFA’s trading card game, FIFA+ Collect will let traders collect memorable sporting moments from the history of the game. Somewhat of a virtual trading card game powered by NFTs. It’s already possible to buy World Cup-themed packs of NFTs containing highlights from old World Cup games.
- Upland, a virtual world platform that’s created to look like Earth, has partnered with FIFA to create NFT collections, organize digital and in-person watch parties around the world and show exclusive video highlights. Upland and FIFA have also created a replica of Qatar’s Lusail Stadium that’ll have branded villages, showrooms and shops.
- Snap also announced an array of AR features for Snapchatters during the World Cup. Along with new global AR lenses for a number of national teams, Snap is also using the tournament to debut its new “live garment transfer” tech with Adidas to let people virtually try on jerseys to see how they look on users based on their body type.
- Africa Village is a mini festival bolted onto the FIFA World Cup on the field in Qatar and online. It’s working with the African wing of the United Nations Development Program, plus the Centre for Development Intelligence, to bring African metaverse content to the World Cup.
This year's World Cup has also attracted other top brands including the largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, OKX, Peacock, Chevrolet, Budweiser and Samsung.