As part of their club partnerships with Southampton FC, cryptocurrency sportsbook Sportsbet.io have created a new VIP experience that uses virtual reality (VR) technology to recreate the magic of matchday, at home.

The creative concept aims to leverage Sportsbet.io’s matchday rights with the Saints to educate and engage football fans on cryptocurrency. As part of the initiative, participating influencers are provided with a Bitcoin value which they can use to build their own unique VIP experience, from a stadium tour with a club legend to a front-row seat at the training ground.

Sportsbet.io are using their football partnerships to redefine the fan experience by combining cutting-edge technology with their cryptocurrency expertise, delivering exclusive experiences that reward Southampton’s large global fanbase and Sportsbet.io customers. The initiative is a demonstration of Sportsbet.io’s constant drive to innovate and the sportsbook believe that the role of cryptocurrency in sport is only going to increase.

The first Virtual Reality experience was delivered in December 2020 ahead of Southampton FC’s home fixture against Manchester City, and featured a tour of St Mary’s stadium with Saints legends Franny Benali and Matthew Le Tisser, as well as a penalty masterclass with Le Tissier. More activity is due throughout 2021, with the potential to further expand the experiences on offer across their club sponsorships.

Tim Heath, Founder of the Coingaming Group, said: “We think cryptocurrency has a big future in football and we’re right behind it. Alongside fan experiences like this, we’ve just seen the first Bitcoin transfer take place where a footballer was purchased using cryptocurrency and signed for DUX Internacional de Madrid, and earlier this year NFL pro footballer Russell Okung said he’s getting his salary in Bitcoin."

"We’re likely to see more of the same - from clubs finding new ways to engage with fans on a match day to the way business is done at the top of the game.”

Southampton Football Club’s Chief Commercial Officer, David Thomas, commented: “As a club our digital approach has always looked to redefine the content status-quo and we were excited at the shared values between ourselves and the Sportsbet.io team. The work that is currently ongoing is a pleasure to be involved with and we want to ensure as many of our fans are experiencing that St Mary’s nostalgia as possible.

"We cannot wait for the full return of our fans but in the meantime, Sportsbet.io have found an innovative way to ensure our club and fans can stay connected.”