The IRFU hosted Technology Leaders from the Unions of Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Wales, Scotland, and England at Microsoft Technology Centre in Dublin in late November.
Over several productive and informative sessions across three days, the group explored the potential of Web3 and Metaverse in Fan Engagement, and opportunities to collaborate on technology projects.
The workshop included an opportunity to explore a metaverse experience in the Aviva Stadium developed by BearingPoint Immersive Labs, followed by an orientation of the Web3 & Metaverse by Eric Chevallet (Head of Immersive Lab, BearingPoint). Richard Ayres (Chairman, Seven League) provided a futuristic view of the opportunities, with Pete Townsend (MD, Techstars) outlining the investment criteria for the sector. The workshop allowed participants to gain a 360-degree sector view of the opportunities and challenges with Web3/Metaverse, and how the Unions need to prepare for the next progression in fan engagement.
This workshop also created the opportunity to exchange information of common projects and challenges, identifying key projects for Union collaboration and receive briefings from World Rugby on key Technology initiatives. The attendees also had the opportunity to receive ‘pitches’ from developing Irish Sport Technology, including Volograms, RugbySmarts, Moveahead and Output Sports.
Scott Walker, IRFU Director of Strategy and Technology, commented, “As Unions we are all trying to develop the game of Rugby and solve similar problems. The collaboration of the Unions allows us to combine our knowledge and expertise to jointly develop and transform the game through technology and our thanks to all the organisers and contributors who helped deliver such an enlightening collaboration”.
This initiative was supported by Enterprise Ireland, World Rugby and Microsoft