The heart of the equestrian sport beats in Aachen – now also in the metaverse thanks to the NFTs of the “CHIO HORSE CLUB”
What distinguishes the CHIO Aachen? What makes it so special, what turns into this exceptional event that everyone, who has ever experienced it once, raves about? It is primarily due to the unique, very special atmosphere. That CHIO atmosphere, that mixture between tension and jubilation, enthusiasm and happiness. In short: that feeling of being part of something exceptional.
Wouldn’t it be a dream, if one could reproduce that feeling digitally? 365 days a year? “The constant readiness to further develop, not to stand still and thus of course to keep on investing is part of the DNA of the CHIO Aachen,” said Philip Erbers, designated board member of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV). In the past, this involved investing in bricks and mortar: New stands, expansion of the stadiums, building a floodlight system – the infrastructure was and is constantly expanded and improved. The next large project is already in the pipeline, the planned construction of a new building that will replace the meanwhile rather antiquated Albert-Vahle Arena.
However, since the late-90s investing doesn’t automatically mean investments in the grounds. The website and app, the development and expansion of the social media platforms, digital innovations like 3D ticketing or the virtual camera flight, which were developed for the digital world, can be experienced on the PC, smartphone or tablet. “The CHIO Aachen competes against many other leisure offers, the public quite rightly expects us to take on a role model in many areas,” Erbers continued. As such, the CHIO Aachen was the first major German sporting event to offer free Wi-Fi throughout the grounds – and of course still does so.
And now the CHIO AACHEN METAVERSE. Metaverse has long since become more than just a keyword. A metaverse is a virtual world. A world that can not only be observed, it can also be actually experienced, a world the CHIO Aachen fans can also participate in. The showgrounds as a virtual (experiential) world in photo-realistic quality. A world one can move around, integrate socially, enjoy a wide range of “experiences”, but also hold virtual conferences in, in real-time. This new dimension of the Internet is referred to as Web 3.0. And thus back to the CHIO Aachen feeling. “The metaverse offers the possibility to dive into the CHIO atmosphere,” said Philip Erbers. The ticket to the metaverse is conceivably simple and works by purchasing an NFT. An NFT, a “non-fungible token”, i.e. a non-exchangeable item, is a virtual item, whereby it is clear that nobody else in the metaverse disposes of this item, each NFT is a unique digital specimen. In the case of CHIO Aachen Metaverse, this NFT is a “CHIO horse”. Owners of such an NFT are automatically members of an exclusive community – of the “CHIO Horse Club”.
Admittedly: The metaverse is also a generation issue. Games like Fortnite or Minecraft, which it seems almost every second under-16-year-old play, are a type of “Quasi-Metaverse”. In addition to pure gaming, social interaction takes place here right through to joint concert visits. Hence, the future inhibition threshold on the theme of metaverse is zero. Many large, international companies are currently proving extremely experimental: Football clubs are launching kits as NFTs and fashion labels are organising fashion weeks in the metaverse. And of course the CHIO Aachen Metaverse won’t be a finished project when it goes online either, but will indeed only be the first building stage. In this first stage, the Main Stadium will be modelled, but the project will be constantly further developed. New features, new “experiences” will be added – the CHIO Metaverse will grow and grow. Over the coming months everything that is possible in Web 3.0 is to be made available to the CHIO Aachen Community as soon as possible.
The metaverse and the NFTs were developed jointly with the company “Beyonity Germany GmbH” (Berlin), which has also already been possible for the CHIO Aachen 3D ticketing for years. “We are delighted at having the opportunity to jointly develop the CHIO Metaverse and the CHIO Horse Club NFT project with the CHIO Aachen. It gives us the chance to set new benchmarks in these Web 3.0 future technologies,” commented Daniel Maaden, Managing Director of Beyonity, “furthermore we want to make purchasing NFTs as simple as possible – without cryptocurrency and without having to have an existing wallet. We use our own marketing platform for the purpose.” The NFTs will cost 200 Euros and can be reserved via an own website once the show begins.
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