Dedicated Southampton super fans in countries around the world enjoyed a one-of-a-kind virtual reality matchday experience during Saints’ game against Liverpool on November 12, thanks to the club’s lead partner Crypto Fan Fund from Southampton, Sportsbet.io.
Pioneering a new Matchday experience with VR
Using Pico virtual reality headsets, fans of the Southampton India fan club were immersed in an authentic Southampton pre-match experience at Saints Social Club – Southampton’s newest official fan pub at the Northam, which opened its doors at the end of August. Fan pubs are a key part of British football culture, and the VR experience has been designed to allow Southampton fans to experience this atmosphere, wherever they are in the world.
The VR experience allowed Southampton India fans to be a fly on the wall on the opening day of the Saints Social Club and included listening to an informal ‘pub talk’ with the legends of Southampton Nigel Adkins and Franny Benali, plus a live performance by Saints Brass band.
Speaking from experience, Srijan Pathak, member of Southampton India said: “Trying on the helmets was absolutely amazing, it really felt like being there in the Club! We all grew up watching Southampton and the Premier League on our TVs but never really felt part of it so to be able to properly immerse ourselves in the atmosphere and feel what it’s really like to be in a pub with other fans before the game, it helped us feel connected to the club in a way we just didn’t have before. We’ll definitely be using it ahead of the other games we’re watching to get motivated before kick-off!
The Crypto Fan Fund
The creation of the Saints Social Club and VR experience was made possible by the Crypto Fan Fund. At the start of the 2021/22 season, Sportsbet.io donated two Bitcoins to Southampton fans, to be used for a fan-led initiative. The club and Sportsbet.io worked with the main supporters group, Saints Voice, to decide how the donation would be spent, with fans voting in March to transform the Northam Social Club – an iconic Southampton pub just a stone’s throw from St. Mary’s . Stadium – Southampton FC’s ultimate fan bar.
Helen Edwards, Head of Responsible Gaming at Sportsbet.io said: “It has been a privilege to work with Saints Voice, Southampton India and Southampton fans throughout this process, and we are delighted to see Saints Social Club come to fruition this summer. Through the Crypto Fan Fund, we wanted to show how crypto can be used to truly support fans and help them implement the initiatives they want to see, and with the help of Southampton FC and Saints Voice, we are Glad I could do just that.
Sarah Batters, Director of Marketing and Partnerships at FC Southampton, said: “It’s been great to work closely with our Saints Voice panel representatives and find out what really matters to them in order to deliver the best match experiences for our fans, both at home and around the world. The new Saints Social Club will provide a wonderful opportunity to bring our fans together, and we are delighted to be able to include our amazing supporters in India as well.
The donation solidifies Sportsbet.io’s continued commitment as the title sponsor of Southampton Football Club and as a leader in the crypto community. The initiative is part of Sportsbet.io’s “Believe the Hype” campaign, encouraging Saints to believe in the hype around their club and around cryptocurrency.
The route of the Saints Back to the Prem
The Saints were founding members of the Premier League in 1992/1993 and were ubiquitous until their relegation at the end of the 2004/2005 season. After falling on hard times, which included further relegation to Ligue 1, they returned to the Premier League for the 2012/2013 season and haven’t looked back since.
They have finished in the top half for the past few years, including a sixth-place finish in the 2015/2016 season which secured Europa League football. In 2016/2017 they reached the League Cup final but narrowly missed silverware after a 3-2 loss to Manchester United. They ended the 2019/2020 season with a seven-game unbeaten streak to finish 11th with a total of 52 points.
#Southampton #India #fan #club #members #virtual #reality #match #experience #Sportsbet.io #fund