Liverpool FC Announces Meta Digital Apparel Deal
The English club takes another step into the Metaverse through its latest partnership with Meta.
Liverpool Football Club has embarked on a new venture in the metaverse business with a new digital apparel deal signed with Meta. The Merseyside club announced a novel collection of virtual clothing which will be available for purchase in Meta’s Avatars Store. In 2022, The Reds announced the release of digital collectibles sold in the Sotheby’s Auction House marketplace. The club is looking to make more significant inroads into the Metaverse with this latest move.
The Liverpool team gear will be available for fans and football lovers to purchase, which they can, in turn, use to customize their virtual avatars on Facebook and Instagram. Liverpool’s home and away shirts, branded hoodies, and sweatpants will be available as part of the initial release. Meta users in the UK, USA, Canada, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and Mexico will first gain access to the new avatar sportswear. Later in 2022, the Liverpool merch is scheduled to debut for the VR-enabled Meta Quest headsets.
The Merseysiders are the first sports outfit to feature their merch in the Avatar Store. While brands like Balenciaga and Thom Browne took part in the recent launch of Meta’s Avatars Store with free and for-sale items, Liverpool is making an entry with for-purchase merch only, hoping to leverage their wide social media reach. With over 80 million followers on Meta’s Instagram and Facebook platforms, Liverpool’s merch could be an instant success as it will help the side connect to their supporters.
The new merch launch on Meta looks to bring the physical side of sports business into the Metaverse. Jersey and club merch sales are an integral part of any football club’s business, and Liverpool is in no way exempted. In 2021, the Merseyside outfit recorded over 2.5 million shirt sales in Europe alone, the third highest of all European clubs. With rights fees and a 20% cut of all shirt sales, Liverpool is expected to rake in over $100 million yearly with such numbers. It remains to be seen if they can replicate or even surpass such numbers in Meta’s new metaverse.
The Metaverse, for all the hype, remains in its infancy, with Meta pouring billions of dollars into their version of a virtual world without much success so far. Liverpool’s endeavor to some appears ill-timed, but the Premier League club has proven its ability to market merchandise with success repeatedly. Compared to physical products, virtual merch requires lesser effort and financial capital to create, which makes it more profitable in the long run. With the metaverse’s reputation as the future of work, content creation, entertainment, sport, and e-commerce, Liverpool appears well-placed to tap into its enormous potential.
Liverpool FC making virtual and branded merch for the Metaverse may not be the club’s first interaction with Web3 and the virtual economy. Still, it appears to be the first of many related moves as the club follows in the footsteps of FC Barcelona, Manchester City, and others, who are already big players in Web3.