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Sports and The Metaverse – Anima Mundi, AFLMint and Australian Sports

As Sports in Australia enter the Metaverse space with NFTs and Decentraland offerings, what are the key features?

What does Sports mean not only to Australian society but to the collective? What does the Metaverse offer Sports as far as a future directions, NFTs and revenue, building rituals, rites of passage and membership, as well as driving community engagement?

We look at case studies of Australian Sports Organisations and Web3 (metaverse) campaigns and projects including:

  • AFLMint – buy NFTs
  • Tennis Australia Australian Open – Pick a square!
  • PieVerse – Collingwood
  • QRL in worlds
  • Cricket Australia
  • also Flow, Decentraland, eplays, Rario,
  • also Blocto wallet Metamask wallet

Transcript of Australian Sports and the Metaverse lecture

Hello, my name is Laurel Papworth and today I’m going to go through Australian sports and the Metaverse and NFTs. We’re going to look at the Queensland Rugby League and the AFL. Collingwoods Pieverse. Cricket Australia. And Tennis Australia Grand Slam. Just a really quick look. There’s lots and lots of links on my website for you to go and do your own research if you’re interested in finding out more about the platforms that are being used. The wallets that are being used by the different sports. The agencies that are being used by the different sports. So that you can start to explore how to enter the Metaverse with your own team and your own fans.

I just want to preface the segments by saying that I approached this with an eye on how the Metaverse offering allows fans to participate in the Divine Union of that competitive, Divine Masculine energy, where we’re competing against other teams and we’re team A and not Team B with collaboration, which is the Divine Feminine. So we have the Divine Union of the two in sports. With team sports, this is that moment when everybody’s in the right place, they’re pushing forward, getting towards their goal, towards their aim, and there is a feeling of flow. This is the Feminine flow, the feeling of being in the right place at the right time. Everything is just working and the audience, the fans feel that as well.

It’s part also of reality TV shows, which is why we have #TeamDelta or Team this or team that in singing competition shows. It’s also the same in politics, left, right, independent. So the idea that we have competition and collaboration working together is an intrinsic part of community building. If it’s missing, which is what I personally am looking for in sports based campaigns and promotions in the Metaverse, it’s hard to sustain interest. So just keep an eye out for those sort of things with me, if you like.

The Australian Open Tennis Grand Slam has quite a lot of investment in the Metaverse, in different aspects of the Metaverse. So AO Australian Open partnered with Decentraland, which is an Animoca brand. It’s a 3D virtual world to provide a virtual experience of the tennis. You could visit various stadiums, Rod Laver and Grand Slam Stadium. Virtual representation of Melbourne Park Open Park and others.

The time gated part of the event, which was in January, included behind the scenes footage, which was several hundred cameras around the park virtual meetups with the players, the stars, the celebrities. The integration of Offline and online for me was interesting. I particularly like, well, action audio is bringing in the sounds, but I guess it’s still digital. But the idea that you could pick the spot on the court where the winning ball was going to bounce from land, whatever, and that you would receive the physical ball, not the NFT, not the digital version, but the physical ball, all nicely presented was a sort of fun guessing game. I guess it’s the equivalent of holding up a jar of jelly beans and saying how many do you think are in the jar?

There are around six or 70 NFTs created by artists and artists, multiple artists I think and put up on the marketplace suite so that people could pick up digital collectibles of the Australian Open Grand Slam, the artwork, the art. NFT’s actually sold really well. They sold out in three minutes for about 00:25 Ethereum. They are going to open up their own marketplace. PeerToPeer marketplace is always a little interesting to handle. You have to solve three major problems, including the escrow process and you have to solve transparency and you have to be able to provide some sort of negotiation service so that the parties can resolve disputes, I guess.

So with AFL Mint we are looking at collecting NFTs. So there are drops airdrops every, I guess, few months and there’s one going on at the moment, a Ripper pack. I joined AFLMint, I haven’t joined all of them. The onboarding process currently is not easy and has not yet been gamified. So there’s a big

upfront investment for consumers to get on board and then they have to connect wallets and all that kind of thing and that’s all done upfront, which is not necessarily how you want to onboard, but I understand it’s early days, almost all of them took quite a lot of time to figure out, so I didn’t join all of the things.

Today, however, once you’re in you can collect packs and for intraseason, like in between the seasons of rugby league, these are a good way of keeping fans engaged. I’m very interested in Genesis Keys and have been tracking that AFL Mint worked with Animoca brands. It’s interesting they didn’t use Decentraland, but anyway worked with Flow Animoca. The wallet is Blocto from Portto I think, I don’t know, I got one, I haven’t used it. I’ve got every wallet going, I think.

So the all-access pass you pay one off for your items, your digital items, your NFPs and once you’ve bought that membership then you can purchase more and that’s a lifetime deal. I was looking at how the industry organisation of AFL is working with the team functions. At the end of the day the fans are Tribe Panthers or Tribe Eels or I don’t know which ones are League and which ones are not, but they like to belong to that tribe and I’ve been looking throughout to see how that Tribe or marketing works with AFL Mint. I think there are possibilities with the marketplace coming in next year, 2023. But if you are working in the sports realm, definitely look at how the tribal competition and passion works because that is the foundation of sports brands and political brands, politics being one of them and reality TV show brands and Android versus Apple brands and you know what I’m saying?

Tribe marketing is very much a foundation stone of particular Divine Masculine, competitive brands. Other brands not so much. Having said that, the Genesis balls are connected to the club, so you can collect those, and presumably, in the marketplace that’s coming in 2023, which I just mentioned, you’ll be able to trade those Genesis balls with other fans. Or if you change your mind and want to support a different team, then you can be a traitor and sell them all and move to the other tribe. Doesn’t happen very often, I don’t think.

You’ll see in all of these sports campaigns in the NFT Metaverse area that they work a lot, not, but they have some gambling elements. So in tennis Australia, it’s picked a square where the ball lands, and then with the Genesis balls, there are random rewards. And this is a gamification element that says if you collect all the packs, then you definitely will when something special, an NFT air drop, or you might be lucky enough to be in one of the hundred out of thousands that they’re going to hand out. So that element of luck, of gambling, just being lucky, is part of the AFL Mint offering.

So let’s have a quick chat about Collingwood’s Pieverse and I was getting Pieverse and AFL mint mixed up. AFL Mint obviously, being from the industry organisation, and Collingwood Pieverse being from Collingwood, the team, they have some similarities and some differences in their offerings. And Pieverse for me is fascinating because their Master Genesis keys looks like it’s going to open up a whole range of tools and services for fans that have not been offered to them at all ever before. So what does the Pieverse master key, Genesis key offer members?

This is interesting. It gives them access to four real life games, real life tickets. So there’s that hybrid of online and offline offerings. 2022, full game access. So you get four games for 2023 You get all games in 2022. AFLW player and Coach Q and A’s. These are like town halls or Meetups, so I put that in the DVD extras or behind the scenes sort of compartment of campaigns. There are pregame activities, don’t know what they look like, so if you Google it, you’ll find a list of them, but that could include the Q and A’s. There are special I don’t know if they’re special airdrops or if they’re just unlimited.


You can participate in as many of them as you want. If you have a master key, if you have a Genesis key, the Pieverse DAO membership decentralised autonomous organisation could actually show the future of running clubs, where the members with the smart contract blockchain run the club together. Yeah, that could be interesting. It’s a little bit like when that town in England all pitched in and bought their football team, soccer team and co run the soccer team as a town. There’s something collaborative and PeerToPeer and like a move towards direct democracy.

When it comes to sporting organisations, I guess there’s around 100 profile pictures and avatars NFTs for people to collect. EPAY’s collaboration with Collingwood is pretty comprehensive for where we are at this stage in the game. And I mean have a look at QRL and some of the others as well.

But I would suggest that Epay. Which is an Australian company and is working with overseas sporting organisations. Have a lot to offer in this space. So maybe keep an eye on them. Follow their socials and see how Epay grows with working with more sporting organisations in Australia.

Queensland Rugby League QRL state of origin have brought out. I think it’s 20 legendary icons. NFTs. They’re not just sports people, I think they’re celebrities as well, that people can collect. They’ve also included regional based the country, the Tropics, the Burbs, the city, the beach.

I think that’s all of them. One area that intrigued me and caught my attention was the Forex line, whatever the agency name is, qrl are looking to return profits back to regional indigenous female pathways and diversity and inclusion programmes.

The NFTs seem to be broader than just Queensland rugby. It includes surfing, it includes rugby league, cricket, rugby, union entertainment. They didn’t say soccer. I’m going to assume that soccer will make it in there somewhere. Maybe Queensland doesn’t play a lot of soccer 🙂

Don’t come up me with hate. Please. Playcaster Ken Lee said, and I want to quote this one, our aim is to build a strong community around this project that will provide value well into the future. This goes to the heart of campaigns with the Metaverse. It’s about building community with sports. There’s a great paper on rituals and rites of passage between fans and sports people to build those social constructs that are so important for community I’ll put the link up for it. It’s from Queensland University. If we’re not building community, we don’t really have a hook. And this is something that sports clubs have worked with multiple times over the years. And it’s so interesting to me that the Pandemic and the shift towards communities in the Metaverse and around NFTs and around Crypto have collided in the way they have.

They’ve tried multiple times before, think all the way ten years ago, Google Glasses and things like that. But it was almost like we needed the Pandemic to give this birthing of virtual worlds a real shot to succeed, to become part of the consciousness of the Australian public. So good on them for stating clearly upfront the Value proposition around this business activity. I haven’t looked into the Crypto wallet that they’re using, but because they’re using the flow platform, I’m assuming it’s Blocto or multiple wallets. I didn’t see Coinbase wallet on there, but I might be wrong.

Need to check that one. Cricket Australia is about to drop airdrop their first pack and they’re using a layer two Ethereum called polygon. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means. Basically, though, the first pack will include NFT collectibles of cricket. Australia, it seems to be in partnership with Rario, which does international cricket.

So often what we see in sports is that one of the service providers, whether it’s Flow or Rario or Animoca Decentraland, will grab one of the verticals in the sports space. So rugby or cricket or tennis. And Rario has Abu Dhabi cricket, the Caribbean cricket, Sri Lanka cricket, and they’ve worked very hard with their licencing across multiple cricket authorities. If you’re interested in looking at the cricket drops when they come out, they’re not here yet, not started. I suggest that you keep an eye on the Rario marketplace that you look at NFT.Cricket.com.Au and BlocTrust.

I know that I’m known for being a little sarcastic from time to time about sports. I think the challenge for me is that in Australia, sports is seen as being the dominant function feature of the FOLKSGEIST. So Folksgeist is the Spirit of the Nation. If you know Zeitgeist, which is spirit of the time, zeitgeist is like Instagram is the spirit of the time. It wasn’t around 20 years ago, it probably won’t be around again another 20 years.

So it is the spirit of this time. Folksgeist is really the spirit of the nation. So what we tend to see happening, particularly in community building companies like Twitter in particular, they employ a huge percentage of business development and advertising executives and all kinds of people who have a background in sports because that is going to be their entrée into a larger community. If we can get the sports thing happening. All the other brands will fall in and the Metaverse is playing out that way in Australia. Other nations? Different spirit of the nation. Different folksgeist will have different entrée points into the Metaverse. For Australia? Very obviously sports.

It is what it is and my personal preference for sports is ice skating and dancing. But that’s neither here nor there. It was a very interesting trip through different sporting teams and how they’re using NFTs in the Metaverse to progress and a lot of them are putting out what they’re going to do next year. So that’s also really awesome because I can now track the changes from year to year as we watch the Metaverse evolve and grow and we cocreate the Metaverse with these organisations.

So I hope you found that interesting. My name is Laurel Papworth, you can contact me on my socials and I’m looking forward to doing some more videos that I’m going to be focusing on government. So we’ll be seeing how different governments around the world are developing whole of country pan government metaverse strategies to ensure that they own the brand of their country in the Metaverse, and that third party corporate entities don’t hijack the national brand. See you then.

Resources for Sports and the Metaverse in Australia

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