Southampton FC has enhanced its pre-existing partnership with cryptocurrency sportsbook Sportsbet.io to create a new VIP fan engagement experience for its supporters.
Utilising its official matchday partnership deal with the club, the new agreement hopes to engage football fans with cryptocurrency, integrating virtual reality (VR) technology to ‘recreate the magic of matchday, at home’.
The Coingaming Group-owned sportsbook aims to redefine the fan experience via the use of technology and its cryptocurrency enterprise, delivering exclusive experiences to football supporters, as well as its own customers.
Influencers who participate in the scheme will be provided with a Bitcoin value to invest in building a unique VIP experience, such as front-row seats at the training ground or a stadium tour with a club legend.
Content is delivered to influencers via the Pico neo2 headset by Pico Interactive, a firm which specialises in providing VR solutions for business in the USA, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Coingaming Group Founder, Tim Heath expressed his belief that cryptocurrency has ‘a big future in football’: “Alongside fan experiences like this, we’ve just seen the first Bitcoin transfer take place where a footballer was purchased using cryptocurrency and signed for DUX Internacional de Madrid, and earlier this year NFL pro footballer Russell Okung said he’s getting his salary in Bitcoin.
“We’re likely to see more of the same – from clubs finding new ways to engage with fans on a match day to the way business is done at the top of the game.”
The Virtual Reality product first made its debut in December 2020 ahead of Southampton’s home game against Manchester City and features a tour of the club’s St Mary’s stadium presented by club legends Franny Benail and Matthew Le Tisser.
Chief Commercial Officer at Southampton FC, David Thomas commented: “As a club our digital approach has always looked to redefine the content status-quo and we were excited at the shared values between ourselves and the Sportsbet.io team.”
“The work that is currently ongoing is a pleasure to be involved with and we want to ensure as many of our fans are experiencing that St Mary’s nostalgia as possible. We cannot wait for the full return of our fans but in the meantime, Sportsbet.io have found an innovative way to ensure our club and fans can stay connected.”