HomeAmerican FootballNFL To Launch VR Game; Allows Blockchain Partnerships

NFL To Launch VR Game; Allows Blockchain Partnerships

NFL To Launch VR Game; Allows Blockchain Partnerships

The NFL has partnered with sports and gaming company, StatusPRO, to produce a virtual reality (VR) simulation game.

The deal will see the NFL become the first major sports league with a licensed VR game.

The NFL and StatusPro are aiming to create an extended reality platform by develop an in-person experience.

The game will be available to players on Meta Quest and Play Station VR and unlike its market competitors, ‘2MD: VR Football’ and ‘The Patrick Mahomes Experience,’ the NFL has said it will aim to give fans a more realistic experience by allowing them to play from the perspective of professional football players.

Since 2020, StatusPRO has acquired several high-stake investors including LeBron James and Lamar Jackon, with the company raising US$5.2 million (AUD$6.92 million) in a funding round late last year.

StatusPro currently has six NFL clients including Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson, who is working with the company to develop extended reality elite training simulations.

StatusPRO co-founder, Andrew Hawkins, said the game’s goal is to give fans an in-person experience.

“We keep the athlete first in everything we do, as former football players it means even more to be able to recreate what it actually feels like to step out on the field,” Hawkins said.

StatusPRO co-founder and CEO, Troy Jones, said the partnership aims to bring a unique product to the marketplace and a new form of engagement between athletes and fans.

“NFL football fans and gamers alike will be able to connect with the world of sports through authentic, immersive gaming products that democratize the experience of the professional athlete,” Jones said.

NFL senior vice president, Joe Ruggiero, said fan’s increasing affinity with VR offers the league the opportunity to explore new engagement avenues.

“We are seeing a growing number of fans engaging with VR and we’re excited to launch the first-ever VR gaming title that complements our existing offerings in the market today,” Ruggiero said.

The move from the NFL is the latest of sport embracing VR, after the NBC also capitalised on VR technology by offering a VR experience of the Winter Olympics through its NBC Olympics VR by Xfinity app.

In addition to their expansion into the VR space, the NFL has relaxed some of its rules regarding blockchain partnerships.

Franchises within the league can now acquire blockchain sponsors, however cryptocurrency and fan token partnerships are still banned, due to the league wanting to develop an official overarching strategy to regulate cryptocurrency’s uptake in the sport.

In a notice sent to the NFL’s clubs, the league outlined its updated regulations stating it will permit promotional relationships with sponsors who won’t create regulator or brand risk, however the blockchain sponsorships, once acquired, can’t exceed three years.

Under the revised regulations, clubs can also accept advertising for NFTs and NFT companies however cannot form product licensing deals with said companies.

Despite the ban, the NFL itself is strategizing ways to capitalise on the cryptocurrency market’s growth by creating NFTs, forming partnerships with Dapper Labs, and potentially putting its blockchain rights on the market.

Dapper Labs is currently in the running to secure an NFT licensing deal worth up to $590 million with the Premier League.

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