Cannes Lions

Australian Open Metaverse

RUN IT WILD, Melbourne / TENNIS AUSTRALIA / 2022

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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

SITUATION

AO strives to be the world’s most innovative, accessible, inclusive & entertaining sporting event. The hiatus in spectatorship as Melbourne had the strictest lockdowns and 50% capacity restrictions a unique opportunity to rethink the way tennis fans participate in live events.

BRIEF

• Provide better access and engagement to AO & grow our global fanbase

• Enable fans globally to own a piece of the AO and be invested until match point & beyond.

• Launch our stake in web3 in an ingenious way

• Stay true to our strengths = Tennis + Data + Entertainment

OBJECTIVES

1. Enable global tennis fans to own a piece of AO22

2. Unite tennis fans into the brave world of web3, NFTs and the metaverse

3. A truly unique NFT & metaverse experience befitting of the AO

4. Raise funds for the non-profit Australian Tennis Foundation and value for tennis fans

Idea

AO METAVERSE

As the first grand slam to virtualize its precinct in the metaverse we enabled global fans to explore the AO from anywhere in the world, complete challenges, view unique content, interact with players and fans.

AO created a truly decentralized tennis experience in partnership with Decentraland, one of the largest virtual reality platforms, and Vegas City, one of the largest districts.

HAWK-EYE ENABLED NFTS

AO linked its first non-fungible token (NFT) collection ‘AO Artballs’ to Hawk-Eye match data setting real world utility and tech firsts for tennis fan holders to own a piece of the AO, invest and earn IRL and metaverse perks.

EXTENDING FAN INVESTMENT BEYOND THE TOURNAMENT

Leveraging fan culture associated with our live tennis tournament and web3 culture we have enabled fans to own, shape and benefit from the future of the AO with us.

Strategy

DATA SOURCE

An electronic verified data source was critical for provenance. Hawk-Eye data adjudicated each of 440+ matches down to the millimeter and could officiate the last legal bounce of the ball.

DATA INTERPRETATION

Our AO Metaverse Integration System (AMIS) ingested Hawk-Eye translating the raw data into a 3D model on the court. Here it visualized the entire match point from serve to racket to court, the ball's velocity and position, determining the ball’s placement to its corresponding plot.

QA WAS A TRIPLE VALIDATED PROCESS

We performed first, second & third round validation of (AMIS) against the NFT token ID to ensure we matched the coordinates of the court plot assigned to the NFT.

LIVE NFT UPDATES

Each of the updates that pushed information on the NFT (IPFS metadata) had a reference hash on IPFS meaning all updates were verified with provenance updated on the blockchain chain for perpetuity.

Execution

A VIRTUAL REPLICA

We replicated the best elements of Melbourne Park in 3D including the Rod Laver Area, Grand Slam Oval, New Beach Club & Kids Ball Park, ~ 50% of the precinct.

UNPARALLELED GLOBAL ACCESS

Gave a voyeuristic virtual look with more exclusive access than attending visitors & broadcast might captured from behind-the-scenes footage from 300+ cameras including the exclusive player arrivals area & the practice village.

Opening up unparalleled access globally & free to a sports property unencumbered by fragmented broadcast rights or covid restrictions, live footage from press conferences in real-time, AO Radio 24/7 & 50 years of archived footage.

PLAY-2-EARN GAMIFICATION

Attendees could play-2-earn via tennis games & daily quests to claim NFTs, POAPs badges & wearables.

MEETUPS & PARTIES

Partners Metakey’s streamed live with players Thanasi Kokkinakis & Alexei Popyrin & held a free online closing party with epic artists: Aoki, Tigerlily & Masked Wolf.

Outcome

• At 175,000 unique sessions from 157 countries, we’re the highest attended events that’s ever taken place in Decentraland.

• Visitors spent an average of 16 minutes per area, a peak of 903 days 9 hours 27 minutes and 50 seconds on cumulative total viewing time.

• Sold out in 3 minutes raising A$1.89m in new revenue and A$7m in secondary sales within the first 2 weeks.

• Enabled 4060 fans to own AO22 from 27 countries

• Within 2 hours trending on OpenSea ranking 15th.

• Super rare collectibles: #2693 with AO’s first logo sold for ~A$27k. #1688 marked Nadal’s incredible 5 set comeback went for A$12k.

• 1m+ estimated views in global PR: Forbes, the first NFT Metaverse appearance on Australia’s number #1 breakfast show & more https://bit.ly/3°p1bXn

• A$946k for non-profit Australian Tennis Foundation impacting Indigenous access to tennis.

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