Tennis Australia Enhances Digital Tournament Experience Via The Virtual ‘AO Decentraland’

In what Tennis Australia describes as a Grand Slam first, the virtual Australian Open (AO) in Decentraland offers a multi-faceted virtual tournament experience which spans walking through a digital Melbourne Park precinct and entering the Rod Laver Area to watch some tennis, to hanging out at the Beach Club or in the Kids Zone and playing tennis-themed games.


In fact, the content and offering in ‘AO Decentraland’ mirrors much of that experienced by real-life tournament visitors from live footage, player practice and arrival, press conferences, listening to the official AO radio 24/7 and behind the scenes footage from the 300+ cameras around Melbourne Park. There are evening decades of archive footage from historic matches such as the legendary 2009 Final between Nadal and Federer.


Plus fans attending virtually can also play and complete games and challenges competing for rewards such as NFTs, POAPs (Ethereum-based NFT badges) and wearables.


The virtual experience was primarily promoted digitally with a heavy focus on social content backed by a major PR push across international, national, sports and tech media partners which generated plenty of coverage and content.







“Taking the AO into the Metaverse is an important step to provide truly global access to our great event,” explained Tennis Australia NFT and Metaverse Project Manager Ridley Plummer. “Fans from anywhere in the world, aged over 13 years old, will have the opportunity to explore a virtual Melbourne Park precinct while viewing live behind-the-scenes footage that is only available in Decentraland. The Metaverse is not going anywhere and as a company, we’re invested in continuing to grow our online presence and push the boundaries of innovation.”





By clicking and coding its way into the metaverse and the world of NFTs with its ‘AO Art Ball’ project, the AO has become one of the first major annual global sports events to offer a rounded, multi-faceted virtual experience and also even offered a way for the deported and unvaccinated world number one Novak Djokovic to attend.


The metaverse has been a sports marketing buzz word for months now and other early mover notable initiatives range from ‘Vans World’ and ‘Nikeland’ in Roblox to Stella Artois’ ‘Racing In The Life Artois’ in Zed Run.




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