Sports technology and gaming firm StatusPRO has entered into a virtual reality partnership with American football’s NFL.

The partnership, announced today (March 23), will see StatusPRO and the NFL work together to create an NFL-licensed VR gaming title available worldwide that will “bring fans closer to the gridiron than ever before … through a first-person 3D immersive experience”, the league has said.

The two will combine by using StatusPRO’s technology and team of developers to launch an experience that allows “fans to get a first-person experience similar to their favorite players.”

The game will take the form of an annual title and will be available on both the MetaQuest and Sony PlayStation platforms, with the release date yet to be announced.

Joe Ruggerio, senior vice-president of consumer products at the NFL, said: “Virtual reality gaming is rapidly expanding and our partnership with StatusPRO allows us to explore a new immersive version of NFL gaming … We are seeing a growing number of fans engaging with VR and we're excited to launch the first-ever VR gaming title.”

Andrew Hawkins, co-founder and president at StatusPRO, added: “We keep the athlete first in everything we do, and as former football players it means even more to be able to recreate what it actually feels like to step out on the field. Through our technology at StatusPRO, we can deliver an immersive experience that helps NFL fans transform into pro athletes.”

In November, a sizeable group of investors, including NBC basketball superstar LeBron James and Japanese tennis icon Naomi Osaka, put funding into StatusPRO.

The investment group also features entrepreneur and James’ business partner Maverick Carter, American businessman and investment advisor Paul Wachter and rapper Drake.

They join existing investors 49ers Enterprise, the investment arm of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, Haslam Sports Group, the sports and entertainment investment company which owns the NFL's Cleveland Browns and MLS’ Columbus Crew, and private equity firms TitletownTech, Greycroft, Verizon Ventures, and SC Holdings.

StatusPRO combines player data and augmented reality and virtual realities (XR) to create a suite of training and fan engagement products for enterprises and consumers.

StatusPro is presently used by several teams in the NFL and claims to offer “custom solutions for players and coaches to optimize performance, prioritize health and safety, provide training at the highest efficiencies possible, while also creating engaging entertainment for consumers.”

The company is seeking to tap into a potentially lucrative market with the XR industry projected to reach over $57 billion by 2027.