- Indian Premier League is adding two expansion teams in 2022
- Titans’ ‘Dugout’ space is intended to be interactive fan environment
- CVC paid US$736m for the franchise
New Indian Premier League (IPL) side Gujarat Titans have become the first professional sports team in India to launch their own virtual space in the metaverse.
The Titans’ new kite-shaped logo was shown off by head coach Ashish Nehra, captain Hardik Pandya and batsman Shubman Gill in what was the first ever interaction in the Titans ‘Dugout’ space on the Spatial.io platform.
Spatial.io is described as a ‘metaverse for events’, offering functional 3D spaces that can be used for exhibitions or digital community experiences for brands, and can even be minted as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) if desired. Fans interact with the space using avatars and can access it via a mobile application or virtual reality (VR) headset.
Last year, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Utah Jazz launched a virtual locker room and NFT gallery experience on Spatial.io, complete with a meet and greet with the team’s owner Ryan Smith.
The Ahmedabad-based Titans are one of two new expansion teams added to the IPL for the T20 competition’s 2022 season, alongside the Lucknow Super Giants, following an auction process held by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) late last year.
Venture capital giant CVC won the rights to the Ahmedabad franchise for US$736 million, while India-based conglomerate RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG Group) acquired the Lucknow-based franchise for US$964 million.
The Titans’ Dugout space is intended as a place where fans can interact during the franchise’s inaugural season and beyond, driving engagement with one of the newest teams in Indian sport.
Several major sports teams have used the metaverse to make major announcements or launches, including the McLaren Formula One team, who unveiled their car for the 2022 season in the Roblox video game platform.