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Serie A Gets in on ESports with FIFA

A brand new ESports tournament is set to hit Europe after the Serie A, in combination with marketing partner Infront Media, launched a brand new tournament for the FIFA game series.

The FIFA series is widely regarded as one of the most popular sports titles of all time. Their latest game, FIFA 20, reached 10 million worldwide players in October of last year.

Over the years, FIFA has been a staple of many football fans gaming collection. Only recently has the game delved into the world of ESports.

FIFA and Electronic Arts (EA) first introduced competitive online play in 2009 with their first iteration of the online game mode, ‘Ultimate Team’. Gamers could select any players to play in their sides against another gamer in an online match, with the best players earning promotion to higher divisions.

In FIFA 17, EA began looking to ESports and a more serious approach for online gaming with the introduction of ‘Weekend League’. Here, players would build squads as per usual, except it wasn’t just promotion on the line. Gamers could obtain better players as a result of performing better than everyone else.

Very quickly, EA and FIFA saw the market’s need for a competition to separate the best from the very best and ESports’ collaboration with FIFA began.

The Premier League, MLS and our own A-League have since jumped on board and teams from all of those competitions have registered players to represent their respective clubs in ESports leagues and competitions.

Now, the Serie A has also seen the potential in ESports and a tournament has been launched.

Qualification for the sport is limited to participants who are aged 16 and over, are willing to represent a Serie A top flight club such as Juventus, Inter Milan and AS Roma and they must play on the PlayStation 4 console.

Luigi De Siervo, Serie A Chief Executive has this to say regarding the announcement of the tournament.

“ESports are a phenomenon in continuous growth and expansion and represent one of the key sectors of business in sport.”

“We have the great opportunity to involve an increasingly broad and cross-sectional target, thus bringing us closer to the new generations. All fans will now be able to follow a new championship and the best will be able to represent their favourite team by challenging themselves with their gamepads.”

The ESports competitions, particularly those based around FIFA, have generated copious amounts of attention on popular video sharing platform YouTube and online streaming service Twitch.

FIFA has become a very niche area for people with large areas of reach on the aforementioned websites. Many ‘YouTubers’ have begun playing professionally and have attracted large amounts of fans as a result of their online exploits.

Many of these fans attempt to follow in the footsteps of these professional gamers and as a result, the attention generated for ESports and especially FIFA has spiked ever since ‘Weekend League’ was born.

Online play in the tournament will begin on Monday and Tuesday, with a Grand Final set for May later this year.

 

Caelum Ferrarese is a Senior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on micro policy within Australasia and industry disruptions at grassroots level.

FC Barcelona and Ownix to create historic NFTs

Barcelona

LaLiga’s FC Barcelona and non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Ownix have joined together to create unique digital assets through photos and videos, depicting iconic moments from the Club’s storied history.

With football clubs entering the world of NFTs at an increasing rate, FC Barcelona are looking to set a benchmark in the creation of these types of digital assets.

As part of this strategy, the Club has signed a new global partnership agreement with Ownix, a premium marketplace for NFTs based on the standards of the Ethereum blockchain – a platform for sharing data that cannot be manipulated or changed.

This alliance between FC Barcelona and Ownix will provide a new way for the Club to reach its followers from around the globe, as fans will now be able to acquire and own digital assets that will reproduce unforgettable moments throughout the Club’s almost 122-year history via various auctions taking place throughout the season.

The agreement between FC Barcelona and Ownix is part of the Club’s global expansion strategy and a further commitment to seek out new channels and formats to connect with new generations, while providing a different form of interaction with their fans around the world.

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta:

“Barça has a very large fanbase around the world and is leading the way in the digital domain with over 400 million followers in social networks,” he said.

“Given this scenario, the Club is constantly looking for new ways to connect with its fans, and we believe that creating these NFTs is a unique opportunity to continue growing and consolidating the Barça brand by bringing unique moments that have made Barça fans dream and FC Barcelona a well-known club on every level.”

Ownix CEO Guy Elhanani:

“As NFTs surge, we thought it is important to give those collectors who are Barça fans an opportunity to own a piece of their Club’s history,” he said.

“This new and exciting asset class allows collectors to own things that weren’t possible to own before, and we’re thrilled to offer sports fans an opportunity to spearhead the movement. Our Mission is to bring customers to purchase NFTs, not because they are marketable, but for the pleasure and pride of owning them.”

Manchester City teams up with Qualtrics

Manchester City Qualtrics

English Premier League side Manchester City have announced a new partnership with Qualtrics which will see the leader and creator of the Experience Management (XM) category become the Club’s Official Experience Management Software Partner.

Qualtrics empowers organisations to listen to customer and employee feedback, understand and analyse what they hear, then take action to improve experiences and design new ones, all in real time.

Manchester City and Qualtrics’ new partnership aligns with the club’s ongoing commitment to provide the best possible matchday experience for fans and will allow the club to use industry-leading experience management software to listen to fans’ feedback following each fixture.

From overall matchday experience – to catering, facilities, retail and more – Qualtrics can provide valuable insight and real-time data from fans to help the club shape their future strategic planning and decisions.

The new partnership is also expected to include further activations across wider areas of the organisation in coming months, using Qualtrics’ experience management software to listen to fan feedback and enhance the digital experience for Cityzens across the globe.

Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships Sales at City Football Group, Stephan Cieplik:

“As a club, we are continually working to improve our matchday offering for fans both in-stadium and across our digital platforms for those following across the globe,” he said.

“Through this new partnership with Qualtrics, we will be able to use industry-leading software to gather valuable feedback and insight from those at the heart of our club to help shape future decisions around matchdays.”

Qualtrics President of Products and Services, Brad Anderson:

“With Qualtrics, Manchester City can listen to and understand fan feedback in real time and take action to improve matchday experiences,” he said.

“But fan experience isn’t limited to the stadium — the digital and at-home fan experience is just as important, and Qualtrics will help Manchester City to deliver a personalized experience to their fans wherever they are.”

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