LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cycling fans will soon have access to a first-of-its-kind virtual world that will enable them to engage with each other, the riders and the sport like never before, as the world’s first immersive UCI Track Champions League metaverse experience launches.
Through a landmark partnership between Infinite Reality (iR) and the events division of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, the metaverse experience utilises Web3 technology to bring a wealth of on-demand content to fans worldwide. It will provide an innovative way for new and existing audiences to deepen their understanding of track cycling and its athletes.
Fans Can Meet the Best Track Cycling Stars
Following a successful metaverse preview and further development of the platform since the end of the 2022 season, the new experience will be available in full for fans to enjoy from Friday 10 November, leading up to the two final rounds of the UCI Track Champions League in London, UK.
Following the race, former UCI World Champion Matthew Richardson and reigning Olympic Champion Kelsey Mitchell will take part in the first live meet and greets, where fans will have the opportunity to discuss their recent performances face-to-face, in real-time, wherever fans are in the world.
Revolutionary Technology Puts Cycling on Track for Even Greater Fan Engagement
Set within a virtual velodrome and purpose-built event village, the metaverse provides fans of the exhilarating track cycling racing format with an unprecedented set of new immersive features to explore:
- Public and Private Lounges: Gives fans who are unable to attend the velodromes in person the chance to meet and interact with each other during races.
- Live Biometric Rider Race Data: Within the live broadcast, heart rate, cadence and watts will be displayed to demonstrate the intense physical output of the riders.
- On-Demand Content: Catch up with on-demand race highlights and exclusive content, including Back On Track, the official docuseries following the riders during Season 1, and learn about the history of track cycling.
- Customisable Camera Stream: Be your own director and go trackside or behind-the-scenes in the velodrome with up to eight live camera feeds to choose from during race evenings, including a dedicated fee that will connect the fans with an exclusive metaverse reporter that will present a behind-the-scenes program with exclusive interviews for the metaverse viewers.
Fans will be guided through the metaverse every virtual step of the way with intuitive device navigation, map teleportation and dynamic camera selection enabling full control of each customisable avatar that fans can create.
Recent studies from National Research Group (NRG) supports the continuing trend of fans increasingly seeking deeper connections with their sports. Its data shows that more than half of sport fans (53%) believe technology plays an important role in their experience and that 78% use a second device while consuming live sport.
The UCI Track Champions League launch of its first-of-its-kind metaverse experience provides new fan engagement opportunities and supplements the live television and streaming race experience with coverage distributed globally through discovery+, Eurosport and GCN+ as well as a number of sublicense partners.
Chris Ball, Vice President of Cycling Events at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe, said: “The 2023 UCI Track Champions League has been incredible and fans around the world have already been enjoying the live action from packed velodromes and via our far-reaching broadcast coverage. It is the perfect time to launch this unique new metaverse experience to capitalise on the heightened awareness and participation in the series to engage fans on an even deeper level. We’re particularly excited to allow fans the opportunity to meet Matthew Richardson and Kelsey Mitchell face to face as well as unveiling a range of new innovative virtual features. This is just the start and we’re confident this new experience will take the sport even further into the future to support the continued growth of track cycling.”
Francois Ribeiro, CEO, Europe, Infinite Reality, said: “We are proud to play a pivotal role in delivering a new, interactive, and deeply immersive environment, unlike any other metaverse experience, to the UCI Track Champions League. This milestone solidifies Infinite Reality as pioneers in the sports industry and paves the way for an unparalleled experience that fans can access anywhere from their mobile devices to attend, watch, interact, socialize, learn, or shop remotely.”
The new UCI Track Champions League metaverse experience is accessible via iOS smartphone or tablet. Fans can take part by downloading the UCI Track Champions League-Verse from the Apple App Store to complete a simple free registration process. Android and Desktop versions are coming soon.
The opportunity to meet Matthew Richardson and Kelsey Mitchell will take place at 18:30 and 19:30 GMT on Friday 10 November, and 17:00 and 18:00 GMT on Saturday 11 November during Round 4 and 5 from London.
The 2023 UCI Track Champions League series is currently underway. Fans can catch up on all the action from Rounds 1 and 2 and learn more by visiting ucitrackchampionsleague.com.
About Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe
Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe represents WBD’s portfolio of sports brands, channels and platforms in Europe. It collectively reaches 130 million people every month, engaging fans and broad audiences in more than 200 markets and in over 20 languages across all platforms where consumers are spending time, free-to-air TV, pay-TV, streaming, online and social. Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe includes the much-loved consumer brands Eurosport, Global Cycling Network (GCN), Global Mountain Bike Network (GMBN) and Golf Digest, as well sports programming and content on discovery+ and Warner Bros. Discovery’s free-to-air TV networks. They connect audiences with the greatest sporting events in the world. This includes being the Home of the Olympics Games in Europe; tennis’ Grand Slams; cycling’s Grand Tours, more than 600 cycling broadcasts per year, the UCI Track Champions League, the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup from 2023 with ESO Sports; the PGA TOUR year-round; The Ocean Race from 2023; the Snooker World Tour; the best electric racing series with ABB FIA Formula E World Championship; the FIM Speedway GP, Speedway of Nations and Speedway World Cup; and every major winter sports World Championship and World Cup event. Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Europe completes a full 360° offer with its events management and promotion division, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports Events, which oversees 30+ events across five continents each year.
About the UCI
Founded in 1900 in Paris (France), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the worldwide governing body for cycling. It develops and oversees cycling in all its forms, for all people: as a competitive sport, a healthy recreational activity, a means of transport, and also just for fun. The UCI manages and promotes ten cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, cyclo-cross, trials, gravel, cycling esports and indoor cycling. Five of these are featured on the Olympic Games programme (road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle), two in the Paralympic Games (road and track) and four in the Youth Olympic Games (road, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle). For more information: www.uci.org.
About Infinite Reality, Inc.
Infinite Reality (iR) is a Metaverse innovation and entertainment company that helps clients with audiences develop immersive Metaverse experiences. An iR powered Metaverse enables brands and creators to fully control the ways in which they distribute content, engage audiences, commercialize their creations, and communicate with their communities. With its deep expertise in Hollywood production, iR develops Metaverse experiences that maximize the value between brands, content, and audiences and redefine the possibilities in connected digital environments. The Metaverse Services and Advisory teams advise, manage, design, and oversee custom builds, leveraging the Technology team’s platform development expertise. The Entertainment and Content Creation division produces breathtaking original content and live events featuring the world’s most in-demand talent. iR’s Metaverse Agency attracts, cultivates, and builds client audiences while iR’s digitally native brands, including premier influencer management agency TalentX Entertainment, increase awareness and adoption of Metaverse opportunities.