Premier League virtual reality (VR) season tickets could soon be on sale to football-mad fans around the world.
That’s the view of Aston Villa chief executive Keith Wyness, who said the passes would offer new revenue streams for clubs, and an authentic matchday experience to fans thousands of miles away.
Wyness, who was speaking at the Daily Telegraph’s Business of Sport conference in London, made the claim in a discussion about the role of China in the world of professional sport and possible opportunities for collaboration between the world’s most populous country and the UK.
Fans of English Premier League club Manchester City can already enjoy games through a new 360-degree virtual reality video offering.
As revealed by The Ticketing Business earlier this year, City’s new digital fan experience, launched in collaboration with VR specialist Jaunt, promises to bring Blues fans “closer to the action”. It is the first full football matchday video to be made available on Jaunt’s VR platform, and will capture sights and sounds on and off the pitch and display it in 360-degree cinematic virtual reality.
To see Man City’s VR experience click here
Meanwhile, new research shows that VR is heading towards the mainstream, with 92 per cent of respondents to an Opinium survey being aware of the tech service.
According to the data gathered, two per cent have spent at least 25 hours in VR, six per cent estimate their exposure at between 1-24 hours, and 15 per cent have tried it once or twice.
A total of 10 per cent of over 55-year-olds have experienced it, while that figure increases to 24 per cent for 35 to 54-year-olds, and 40 per cent among 18- to 34-year-olds.
As a sign of the future strength of the burgeoning industry, 80 per cent of 18-34 year olds are ‘interested’ in the technology, with close to a third saying they are ‘very interested’ or ‘obsessed’ with it.
More than a quarter of those who are interested said they would most likely use the software to experience travel, with the same percentage keen on watching films and TV in VR.
Watching live music and taking part in exercise or sport notched 16 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.