RBFA x ING
This is the year of the Royal Belgian Football Association. A new wind is blowing through the crevices of an organisation that has lived more years than any of us. This year, the RBFA moved its headquarters to a shiny new venue in Tubeke. All things Belgian football have found their new Heimat there and to stay in the game—pun intended—the organisation is exploring all the ways in which technology can be of added value to the realm of sports. We are happy to tell you immersive tech and the metaverse are ranked high on the wishlist.
The World Cup 2022 is coming, but we can’t say it feels like the vuvuzela madness in 2014 or the Waka Waka of 2010. That may have something to do with the fact that only 1500 fans of our proud country will attend the matches in Qatar. Out of 11 million Belgians, that's a quantité négligeable. But it is the task of the RBFA to unite as many fans as possible around every match the Devils play. So, they asked us the question that’s on every Devils’ fans’ mind: how can the fans join in on the fun?
Two peas in a pod
Clients who continue to seek out our services after a first project are a walking-talking compliment to our services. So yes, we like them very much. We collaborated on the opening of RBFA’s new premises and had the pleasure of hosting them at one of our Round Tables.
Our ‘Own your own audience’ mantra resonated well with them. They would prefer to become as independent from Meta (Yes that’s you Mark) as possible. Hence the investment in their own applications to reach their fanbase. A fine story we like to think is as open-ended as an art-house film.
– Manu Leroy, Director Marketing & Communication RBFA
A year-round MetaCup
We imagined, designed and built a world in Roblox. Think of it as RBFA’s own virtual universe. It has a subtle thousand-and-one-night vibe but is mainly inspired by the RBFA logo, which we enlarged and rebuilt into a virtual stadium. The laurel wreath crowning the logo functions as a series of mini-games like training, passing, and testing your speed and agility. The sum of these games will increase the rating on a player’s card.
A certain minimum will open the gates to a real-time virtual match inside the stadium. Belgian bank ING is in on the fun as well. They have launched a campaign called ‘Do your Thing’ and want to enable players to make their dreams come through. They even sponsor the merch in this virtual reality. Following the play-to-earn principle, players can buy their favourite player’s shirt hanging in the merch shop’s window.
The Young Ones
While the World Cup isn’t as accessible as it has been during other editions, there are solutions to still gauge that fan vibe. As a fan, you can go to fan villages, and local bars—or maybe your own football club is putting up a big screen in the cafeteria. With ‘we’, we do mean adults, not kids or youngsters. Where will they be? In the Metaverse, of course, the place to be for Gen Z. RBFA has understood that message loud and clear.
Their world in Roblox will function as a fan village for all those too young to go out to watch the game. Better yet, this RBFA world will remain there long after the World Cup is over. Matches will be played, in-game activities and campaigns launched. This will be the interface through which RBFA reaches out to the new generation of fans and builds a community for and with them.