Australian Open partners with Decentraland, launches NFT collection and metaverse space
The Australian Open, one of the biggest sporting events in the Southern Hemisphere, announced its entry into the crypto industry through the metaverse and NFT space.
In a thread on Twitter, the Australian Open (AO) announced its partnership with Decentraland, a 3D virtual world built on the Ethereum blockchain, saying that a virtual replica of Melbourne Park would be featured in Decentralands metaverse.
In addition, a collection of 6,776 “AO Art Ball” non-fungible tokens will be made available for public mint on January 13th. Each NFT corresponds to a section of the tournaments’ tennis courts, when a winning shot from one of the 400+ matches lands on a space, the owner of the NFT is airdropped footage of the point, virtual wearables, and other unknown benefits redeemable in the future.
When one of the 11 championship points lands on a plot, the owner of the connected NFT is shipped the physical ball used in the game, in a specially handcrafted case.
Where the ball lands, and which NFT corresponds with it, is tracked by the same technology employed to judge the matches’ in-game points.
The announcement comes as COVID-19 cases in Victoria are at an all time high. last year, restrictions meant that attendees were permitted to watch only nine of the 14 days of the tournament, and crowds were limited to between 30 to 50 per cent of overall stadium capacity. This caused a record low attendance of around 130,000, in stark contrast to the record attendance of 812,000+ in 2020.