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Soccer Clubs are Joining the Metaverse

Photo by Finn / Unsplash

Popular UK soccer team Liverpool FC are the first Premier League club  entering the metaverse by allowing fans to buy digital merchandise, customize their avatars and more. They’ve partnered with the metaverse-maximalist Facebook founder Meta to bring their club’s brand into the virtual world through massive social media platforms like Instagram, enabling users to buy branded hoodies and the home and away kits that represent their club. But this isn’t their first foray into the future of the internet—and it won’t be their last.

The Sotheby’s Collection

At the start of this year, Liverpool FC ventured into the metaverse space by launching a digital collection on Sotheby's marketplace. Once a purveyor of Fine Arts, Sotheby’s themselves are branching out into the future—being one of the leaders to create a digital marketplace that sells NFTs and other digital art, there’s no doubt that Sotheby’s are ready for the future.

In partnership with Liverpool, they launched an NFT collection called the LFC Heroes Club, featuring 24 unique NFTs of different players which was auctioned off over three days. Half of the auction’s proceeds went directly to the LFC Foundation which supports community-focused projects and charities.

Now, they’re announcing a collection of digital clothing available on the Meta Avatars Store so that fans can represent their favorite teams even when they're in a virtual world.

Virtual Fandom

Thanks to the partnership with Meta, Liverpool fans will be able to purchase team merch on Meta platforms to customize their avatars. The first merch drop includes Liverpool's home and away shirts, LFC-branded hoodies and sweatpants, with more to come. These will be available in limited countries at first through Facebook and Instagram including the U.K., U.S., Mexico, Canada, and a few others. The merch is expected to be shipped to the Meta Quest headsets later this year in a bid to bring displayable fandom to Meta’s virtual worlds.

Liverpool are in fact the first sports brand to launch wearables on Meta’s platforms, with their virtual kits now visible next to massive names like Balenciaga and more, who offer digital clothing for Meta avatars—at a premium, or with less exclusive free options.

Fielding the Ball

In the last few years, Liverpool has been making a major push into digital products. They have experience and knowledge in the sports-fashion industry which has made the partnership with meta natural. In fact, producing and selling digital items requires less time and money than most other types of businesses—this means they'll be able to spend more time on testing, and then adapting when they need to change something, making them a market leader in terms of digital sports wearables.

With over 80 million fans, Liverpool FC are a sports giant, and though they might be the first to debut virtual kits on Meta’s platform, they certainly won’t be the last. More and more brands are joining the metaverse, offering cyber-physical collections and metaverse wearables, so expect to see more clubs—whether that’s soccer or something else—to offer similar collections in the future.