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Liverpool FC partners with Meta to sell digital merchandise, the first virtual sports team apparel available on Meta’s avatar store

By

Andre Cohen


English Premier League club Liverpool FC are teaming up with Meta to sell digital merchandise in what is the first virtual sports team apparel available for paid purchase on Meta’s Avatars store. Digital versions of the Liverpool home and away kits are being sold for $1.99 each through the Avatars store on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. The kits will debut later this year in virtual reality for Meta’s Quest headsets.

Liverpool will receive a share of digital merchandise sales, which includes two LFC-branded red hoodies and sweatpants in addition to home and away kit kits for a total of four kits available. The virtual fashion items will be available to users in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Thailand, Spain, and Italy. Cryptocurrency is not an accepted form of payment for digital avatar swag in the metaverse of the social media company officially known as Facebook.

“We are delighted that Liverpool fans can now use our avatars to express their digital identity through the iconic colors and logo of their favorite club,” Jerry Newman, Meta Director of Media Partnerships, Northern Europe, said in a statement. “We are also delighted to help Liverpool begin to tap into the new metaverse economy, with digital apparel revenue adding to the apparel sales the club generates in the physical world.”

The NFL partnered with Meta around Super Bowl LVI to release Rams and Bengals-branded digital shirts and helmets, but these avatar fashion items were available for free. “Our intention is to develop a market where [digital] jerseys or shirts can be sold,” Rob Shaw, director of Meta, North America Sports Partnerships, said in April at SportTechie’s State Of The Industry conference. “There will be a business model where the money can go back to leagues and teams or whoever owns the intellectual property.”

Liverpool, owned by Fenway Sports Group, joins EPL club Everton and LaLiga club Real Betis as top football teams to sell virtual avatar fashion, although Real Betis and Everton items are aimed at avatars on Fancurve which is separated from different Meta platforms. Earlier this week, Meta announced new accessories for training in virtual reality and its new Quest Pro headset that will cost $1,500. Meta also announced that its virtual avatars would win legs from next year.

Kimberly B. Nguyen