Warner Bros. Discovery Sports (WBDS), the sports division of the multinational media and entertainment giant, and metaverse services firm Infinite Reality have entered into a Web3-focused partnership with Discovery Sports Events, the event management division of WBD.
The deal, announced yesterday (October 26), is aimed at reaching and engaging new audiences.
WBDS and Infinite Reality will explore new ways to use Web3 technology – those facilitating and facilitated by the decentralized web – and create immersive experiences to engage fans and via which for fans to interact in the metaverse with athletes, retail outlets, and brands.
The collaboration will relate specifically to upcoming Discovery Sports Events properties, including cycling’s UCI Track Champions League in December when the experience and virtual content created will be first previewed.
WBDS has said the partnership marks the first time that it will have harnessed Web3 technology for its sports properties in Europe.
François Ribeiro, head of Discovery Sports Events, said: “Warner Bros. Discovery Sports’ partnership with Infinite Reality outlines how we plan to embrace the latest innovations and opportunities to deepen the connections between our audiences, owned series, and brand partners to discover possibilities for new growth areas around different sports properties.
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“We are excited by the potential to engage new audiences around live sport in different ways, extending the experience beyond the live environment and into even more places where people are interacting and spending time.
“Over the coming years, by breaking new ground in metaverse experiences around live sports events we will empower fans to engage with sport in new and exciting ways. We see the preview during the UCI Track Champions League as an outstanding opportunity to open new avenues for storytelling and fan engagement, providing key learnings as we look to extend our partnership to other assets of Discovery Sports Events’ portfolio.”
John Acunto, chief executive of Infinite Reality, added: “This is just the beginning of connecting amazing content with their audiences in unique and immersive ways. We can’t wait to see the fans' excitement while engaging with UCI Track Champions League and bringing them closer to the sport they love in a totally new and revolutionary way.”
The new tie-up follows another in the tech realm for Discovery Sports Events, which announced a partnership with UK-based sports video platform Recast in June to launch a dedicated channel for motor racing’s FIA World Touring Car Cup.
In July, Infinite Reality completed the acquisition of esports infrastructure firm RektGlobal for $470 million with a view to consolidating Rekt’s entertainment and esports business into its own offering of creative tools.
Around the same time, WBDS announced record audience growth for its television, streaming, and online channels.