Tackling inactivity? Creating sessions that are ‘out of this world’ could be the answer

The year is 2033, 4.6 million primary school children are all in one room, taking part in PE with Joe Wicks who hasn’t aged a day and every child is wearing brand new trainers that they picked that morning. Now consider this, the only part of that opening sentence that probably isn’t accurate is it’s likely to happen way before 2033. 

How? By heading into the Metaverse – A virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users, helping people connect, find communities and grow businesses.

It may not exist yet, but the constant reminder that the Metaverse is a galaxy not too far away is provided to me every morning. As I open Instagram, at the bottom of the screen you may notice it now says ‘from Meta’ following Facebook’s rebrand to Meta in 2021, signaling Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to be the leader in the development of the Metaverse.

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that all of the big hitters in business are already exploring how they can operate in the Metaverse, just Google NIKELAND. When you consider the UK is the leading video game market in Europe and the sixth-largest gaming market worldwide, with 44.32m game users, there’s a big market to tap into. 

In fact, the first organisations to adopt this innovation are already taking full advantage, virtual fashion brand RTFKT sold a digital jacket for over $125,000 and a digital artist known as Beeple who had never sold a print for more than $100 sold a digital art piece for $69 million. 

So where am I going with this? In Sport England’s new strategy ‘Uniting The Movement’, their 10-year vision to transform lives and communities through sport and physical activity, they have outlined five big issues where they see the greatest potential for preventing and tackling inequalities in sport and physical activity. One of those five big issues is ‘Positive experiences for children and young people.

We know the early adopters of the Metaverse are most likely to be young people, and as Sport England put it ‘Embracing technology and the digital world so being active is easier, more attractive and more relevant to the digitally-savvy’ means the Metaverse could provide us with a golden opportunity to engage this key audience. 

However, if we look at the five customer segments of technology adoption, I’d argue our sector would often be classed as ‘Late majority’ or ‘Laggards’. In other words we’re often late to the party, and not fashionably wearing the latest RTFKT trainers. 

So as I try to understand more about how the different Metaverses will connect and what NFT actually stands for, my message here is simple. I believe it’s important that we don’t see the Metaverse as a threat, another barrier to people being active but instead an exciting opportunity to target a key demographic with new, exciting and innovative ways to be active. 

It might only be a rocket to a virtual universe, but booking a seat on that flight could be crucial to Uniting the Movement. 

Happy New Year and thanks for reading,

Shay

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Metaverse and how our sector can utilise it to tackle inactivity. Drop me a line if you’re interested to chat more – sfenlon@leapwithus.org.uk 

 

Sources 

https://www.statista.com/topics/1763/gaming-in-the-united-kingdom/#dossierKeyfigures 

https://www.business-live.co.uk/technology/what-metaverse-how-change-world-22643376 

https://ondigitalmarketing.com/learn/odm/foundations/5-customer-segments-technology-adoption/ 

https://ticketmanager.com/the-metaverse-threat-or-opportunity-for-sports-organizations/ 

https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-pupils-and-their-characteristics 

​​https://www.sportbusiness.com/2021/11/what-does-the-metaverse-mean-for-sport/#:~:text=The%20metaverse%20would%20allow%20people,intellectual%20property%20within%20the%20metaverse.%E2%80%9D 

https://www.voguebusiness.com/technology/beyond-the-bubble-making-nfts-work-for-fashion?amp 

​​https://news.nike.com/news/five-things-to-know-roblox