Tech-savvy Vfl Wolfsburg ‘walkable website’


VfL Wolfsburg steps into the 3D world Image: VfL Wolfsburg

Virtual worlds are in vogue: Metaverse and gaming are currently the largest growth markets in the blockchain sector. Many observers see in the Metaverse the consistent further development of social networks and the current Web 3.0.

‘VfL Wolfsburg’ stated that as a pioneer, the Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg (Germany) has been working on the basic technologies for years – in addition to 3D simulations and VR experiences, this also includes the possibilities that result from blockchain technology, such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and Web3.

In Science fiction, the ‘Metaverse’ is a hypothetical iteration of the Internet as a single, universal and immersive virtual world that is facilitated by the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) headsets.

A blockchain is a distributed database or ledger shared among a computer network’s nodes. They are best known for their crucial role in cryptocurrency systems for maintaining a secure and decentralized record of transactions, but they are not limited to cryptocurrency uses.

Web 2.0 refers to websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture, and interoperability for end users. The term was coined by Darcy DiNucci in 1999 and later popularized by Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty at the first Web 2.0 Conference in 2004.

VfL Wolfsburg or Wolfsburg is a German professional sports club based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony (Germany). The club grew out of a multisports club for Volkswagen workers in the City of Wolfsburg. It is best known for its Football Department, but other departments include badminton, handball and athletics. The men’s professional football team play in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system. Wolfsburg has won the Bundesliga once in their history.

The Volkswagen Arena is a football stadium in the German City of Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. It was opened in 2002 and named after the automotive group Volkswagen AG. The Volkswagen Arena has a capacity of 30,000: 22,000 seats and 8,000 standing places and serves as the residence of the VfL Wolfsburg.

NFT means non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which are generally created using the same type of programing used for cryptocurrencies. In simple terms, these cryptographic assets are based on blockchain technology. They cannot be exchanged or traded equivalently like other cryptographic assets like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that employs pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays to give the user an immersive feel of a virtual world. Applications of virtual reality include entertainment, education and business.

Augmented reality (AR) is an interactive experience that combines the real world and computer-generated content. The content can span multiple sensory modalities, including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, and olfactory.

‘VfL Wolfsburg’ further stated that in addition to some NFT projects, VfL is now also starting a “walkable website” in the form of a fan house in Decentraland. The Bundesliga soccer club has set up its own corporate crypto infrastructure for this purpose, which enables interaction with decentralized applications such as Decentraland. The club thus creates an emotional and interactive community in virtual space, which makes ‘The Wolves’ even more tangible. The ‘White and Greens’ are the first football club to independently test and implement new options to enable fans and members to interact even better with VfL. This is exactly what the technologies and possibilities from the Metaverse vision are perfectly suited for. In order to understand where the hype can be separated from substance and added value, ‘The Wolves’ want to be the best contact for their supporters and partner companies.

Decentraland is a 3D virtual world browser-based platform. Users may buy virtual plots of land in the platform as NFTs via the MANA cryptocurrency, which uses the Ethereum blockchain. Designers can create and sell clothes and accessories for the avatars to be used in the virtual world.

Foundations and Infrastructure Created

Explained Linus Lebugle, Head of Business Development at VfL Wolfsburg, “We believe in the future of Web3 and have laid the necessary foundations for further steps. We are proud that VfL and thus also Volkswagen have built their own corporate crypto infrastructure – which allows us to interact with all decentralized blockchains and their applications. Here, above all, the journey was the real goal. Thanks to all the experiences that we have gained, we are now familiar with many relevant areas such as legal, tax and even 3D modelling. All this expertise can be transferred to any further decentralized project with slight adjustments, because the house on Decentraland is certainly not the end of the road – but a first step in trying out an exciting future. The entire ecosystem is evolving at incredible speed. We have our own representation in Web3-Space and see our fan house in Decentraland on the one hand as a ‘walkable website’ and on the other hand as proof of our efforts to live our brand value innovation together with partners and sponsors.”

Walk-through World

Decentraland offers its users a walk-through world that is further developed by the owners of the land NFTs (Decentraland DAO). The entire Web3 ecosystem is evolving at an incredible rate. VfL Wolfsburg has managed to build up an actual and, above all, its own representation in the Web3 space, making it one of the most innovative football clubs. For example, the first AR options for fans and walk-in versions of the Volkswagen Arena (including Fortnite) already exist. With the NFT partnerships and license deals, the Lower Saxony club was one of the first to go live.

The Decentraland DAO is the decision-making tool for MANA, NAMES and LAND holders in Decentraland’s virtual world. Through votes in the DAO, the community can issue grants and make changes to the lists of banned names, points of interests (POIs) and catalyst nodes.

The next logical step is to combine all of these fascinating technical building blocks to make the Metaverse a reality. The ‘White and Greens’ are already testing various centralized and decentralized virtual platforms for this. In the Decentraland house, VfL will regularly offer new content – this includes press releases, player presentations or the presentation of new jerseys.

Remarked Juppi Lee, Head of Marketing and Corporate Development at VfL Wolfsburg, “It will be fun to try out such a platform together with our fans. We’re going to try a lot of 3D content and try to create a ‘walkable website’ that our fans love to visit. In addition, we can address a new target group and offer our partner companies a new marketing platform. The choice fell on Decentraland, because it is a rather barrier-free Metaverse platform – so you can access it with and without a so-called wallet. In the coming weeks, we will therefore also play it regularly. There are many ideas.”

The World of Metaverse

To put it simply, this is a virtual world with a focus on bringing people together in digital spaces despite physical distance in the real world, and in real time. As a vision of the future, an extension of the Internet in which digital and physical existence merge. In the Metaverse, users can create avatars to create a virtual likeness, which they control through the virtual worlds in order to communicate with others, play, shop and, in the future, also work there. As with NFTs, the underlying blockchain technology plays an essential role for the metaverse.

Added Lee, “We are very grateful to our partners Deloitte and TheFootballCompany as well as the 3D agency Keingarten for helping us in our endeavor.”

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