As LaLiga braces for the reality of a post-Messi world, the top Spanish soccer league is also joining a virtual universe. Starting today, fans will be able to cheer on and even compete for their favorite clubs in GreenPark, a mobile app that bills itself as a metaverse for sports fans.
Founded in 2018, GreenPark already includes theme park-like digital experiences for fans of League of Legends and the NBA. App users create custom avatars using licensed digital merchandise, make predictions about real-world action and compete in challenges that mix sports trivia with mobile games. Fans will now also have the ability to chat with each other in the app.
Metaverses—or virtual worlds that recreate a sense of presence and connect multiple experiences—have become the buzzword du jour following related booms for NFTs and other blockchain-enabled products earlier this year. While GreenPark is currently limited to an app, CEO Ken Martin said the company plans to connect to other platforms, like Twitter and Discord. “We want to be the single source of truth for fandom,” he said. “It’s going to become a metalayer across everything.”
A North American-based app, GreenPark fits in as part of LaLiga’s expansion strategy. The league, which recently partnered with ESPN, has created a content studio of its own in Mexico. LaLiga North America was set up with Relevent Sports in 2018, and executives have long discussed the possibility of playing official matches stateside.
With three leagues existing in the same virtual ecosystem, GreenPark offers its partners fan data that extends across sports. For instance, Martin said roughly a third of users so far have shown an interest in both League of Legends and NBA teams.
“It’s very important for LaLiga to be close to our fans all over the world, and GreenPark’s platform affords us the opportunity to give them an experience in which they can interact with the league, our stars and the clubs,” LaLiga executive director Oscar Mayo said in a statement. “Plus, this partnership allows us to get closer to the gaming community worldwide and offer them the opportunity to follow the best soccer league in the world.”
Late last year, GreenPark raised $14 million in Series A funding. Galaxy Interactive led the round, with participation from YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Sinclair Broadcasting and existing investor Sapphire Sport, among others.
(This story was corrected in the second sentence to clarify when the LaLiga-GreenPark app is available.)