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NFL enters the metaverse with official Roblox store

The National Football League (NFL) has opened a virtual store in the Roblox video game, hoping to take advantage of rising demand from consumers for digital items that can be used in the metaverse.

Roblox is a free-to-play (F2P) online gaming universe aimed at children, where players create avatars, build their own game areas, and participate in games and events. A virtual currency called ‘Robux’ is used to pay for items that can be used within the game to decorate avatars and custom areas.

The football league’s initial foray into the metaverse will see it offer players the opportunity to purchase official virtual helmets for all 32 teams.

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Items for teams from the American Football Conference (AFC) are already available, while those for the National Football Conference (NFC) sides will be on offer from 1st December. The league has suggested that more ‘drops’ and product range launches will take place next year.

The storefront was developed by Melon, a development studio that specialises in creating digital experiences for brands and individuals within the platform. Notably, Melon has worked with musician Zara Larsson on virtual concerts, merchandise, and scavenger hunts.

Many established brands have set up a presence within the game to engage with consumers and to create new revenue streams. The sports industry is no exception with Roblox offering a route to reach younger, digitally native fans.

Spanish soccer giants Barcelona have previously used Roblox to show off their new official kits, while sportswear giant Nike recently launched a dedicated game area called ‘Nikeland’. Nikeland is free to visit on Roblox and users can obtain official products and rewards to use with their avatar.