Virtual reality pilot to enhance fan experiences, enable new e-commerce opportunities and inspire people to protect the ocean
ALICANTE, Spain & PARIS & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Ocean Race launched a metaverse experience pilot today with Virtual Regatta and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to engage fans and businesses in a new way with the world-renowned, global yacht race.
The companies developed a metaverse environment that allows gamers and enthusiasts of the race’s official e-sailing game, Virtual Regatta, to take part in exclusive online events, interact with other fans and get access to team stats.
“We are entering the metaverse and our collaboration with Virtual Regatta and Accenture because we are explorers and pioneers,” said Richard Brisius, race chairman of The Ocean Race. “Since 1973 we have sought new ways for people to engage with what is happening in the ocean.”
Philippe Guigné, founder and CEO of Virtual Regatta, added: “The metaverse is a new experience provided by Virtual Regatta and The Ocean Race that will allow people to follow the physical and virtual race in an all-digital race village. Gamers and enthusiasts will be able to meet each other, watch the physical and digital event, and much more. This virtual reality setup will further enhance the fan experience.”
Accenture, The Ocean Race and Virtual Regatta are also providing e-commerce opportunities for brands to showcase their digital goods and services in the metaverse space, such as active apparel retailer and official clothing partner of the race Helly Hansen.
Additionally, The Ocean Race’s mission to protect the seas is incorporated in the metaverse strategy and content. The Racing with Purpose tent, named after the organization’s sustainability programme, is an interactive space where visitors can explore how the race supports this goal and how they can get involved. The area features a science station, which highlights how race teams are gathering vital data about the ocean, and a learning corner where visitors can discover and download learning programmes to inspire youth between 6–16 years old to protect the seas. Also showcased is the Blue Voice campaign, which gives an opportunity for visitors to show their support by signing the petition for ocean rights.
“The metaverse will usher in a new era of our digital lives, overcoming the limitations of the physical world and creating new opportunities to immerse in issues and connect as communities,” said David Treat, who is the co-lead of Accenture’s Metaverse Continuum business group. “Our collaboration with The Ocean Race and Virtual Regatta is helping reinvent how people engage with the race and protect our oceans while creating value for all stakeholders.”
Richard Brisius added: “Purpose drives The Ocean Race. Protecting our racetrack and restoring the health of the ocean is vital, and the metaverse can be a fantastic tool for helping give the ocean a voice. It is even more important for us to continue to explore new ways to engage and educate. We recognise that it is the young generation where we need to focus our efforts to build ocean literacy, as the metaverse is likely to attract many young users. In addition, we believe in the merits of Web 3.0 with a metaverse which will represent a fair internet controlled by the users, compared to the current Web 2.0 which is centralized and run by a few entities.”
More than 200,000 players are expected to take part in the Virtual Regatta Offshore and Inshore versions of the race. There are seven International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) legs and three VO65 Sprint stages on Virtual Regatta Offshore, with new features for an expanded virtual experience, mimicking the real race the crews are undertaking.
The Ocean Race metaverse pilot experience, in collaboration with Virtual Regatta and Accenture, will be available to users on a limited basis starting with the last week of Leg 3 of the race from Cape Town to Itajaí, Brazil.
About The Ocean Race
Since 1973, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. For nearly 50 years, it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest sailors and been the proving ground for the legends of our sport.
The 14th edition of The Ocean Race started from Alicante, Spain on 15 January 2023, and will finish in Genova, Italy early in the summer of 2023. The race will visit nine iconic cities around the globe over a six-month period (Alicante, Spain – Cabo Verde – Cape Town, South Africa – Itajaí, Brazil – Newport, RI, USA – Aarhus, Denmark – Kiel Fly-By, Germany – The Hague, the Netherlands – Genova, Italy) and will feature a leg with the longest racing distance in the 50-year history of the event – a 12,750 nautical mile, one-month marathon from Cape Town, South Africa to Itajaí, Brazil. The fleet of mixed crews will pass all three great southern Capes – Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin, Cape Horn – non-stop, for the first time.
Along with five confirmed foiling IMOCA teams racing around the world, six one-design VO65 boats will race on three legs with an option to compete for a new trophy within The Ocean Race called The Ocean Race VO65 Sprint Cup.
Sustainability in The Ocean Race
We have a proven commitment to sustainability, and with the support and collaboration of 11th Hour Racing, Founding Partner of the Race Sustainability Programme and Premier Partner of The Ocean Race, we are inspiring action and creating tangible outcomes.
Building upon our award-winning legacy in sustainability, our innovative Racing With Purpose programme is acting as a catalyst for positive change and accelerating the application of innovative solutions to help restore ocean health.
About Virtual Regatta
Since its creation in 2006 by Philippe Guigné, the Virtual Regatta games have been a great success. They allow everyone to compete with the physical world’s sailors, as well as with enthusiasts, everywhere on earth. Today Virtual Regatta is the exclusive partner of World Sailing (International Sailing Federation) and co-organizer of the “eSailing World Championship” and the “Nations Cup” on Virtual Regatta Inshore. Virtual Regatta is also the official and exclusive game of all the most prestigious sailing races in the world (Vendée Globe, Route du Rhum, Sydney Hobart, The Ocean Race, America’s Cup). The game is free to play and is available on computers, mobiles and tablets, with a community of over 1 million active gamers.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company that helps the world’s leading businesses, governments and other organizations build their digital core, optimize their operations, accelerate revenue growth and enhance citizen services—creating tangible value at speed and scale. We are a talent and innovation led company with 738,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Technology is at the core of change today, and we are one of the world’s leaders in helping drive that change, with strong ecosystem relationships. We combine our strength in technology with unmatched industry experience, functional expertise and global delivery capability. We are uniquely able to deliver tangible outcomes because of our broad range of services, solutions and assets across Strategy & Consulting, Technology, Operations, Industry X and Accenture Song. These capabilities, together with our culture of shared success and commitment to creating 360° value, enable us to help our clients succeed and build trusted, lasting relationships. We measure our success by the 360° value we create for our clients, each other, our shareholders, partners and communities. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
About Helly Hansen
Founded in Norway in 1877, Helly Hansen continues to develop professional grade apparel that helps people stay and feel alive. Through insights drawn from living and working in the world’s harshest environments, the company has developed a long list of first-to-market innovations, including the first supple waterproof fabrics more than 140 years ago. Other breakthroughs include the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s, the first technical base layers in the 1970s, made with LIFA® Stay Dry technology, the patented H2Flow™ temperature regulating system, and the revolutionary lighter, warmer LIFALOFT™ insulation. Building on Helly Hansen’s proprietary HELLY TECH® waterproof/breathable system, the technical outdoor brand has most recently introduced the award-winning LIFA INFINITY PRO™ – the company’s most innovative and responsible waterproof/breathable technology to date.
Helly Hansen is a leader in technical sailing and performance ski apparel, as well as premium workwear. Its uniforms are worn and trusted by more than 55,000 professionals and can be found on Olympians, National Teams, and at more than 200 ski resorts and mountain guiding operations globally.
Helly Hansen’s outerwear, base layers, sportswear and footwear are sold in more than 40 countries around the world and the company is owned by Canadian Tire Corporation (CTC). To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, visit www.hellyhansen.com.
The Ocean Race Communications Director
+34 699 134 443
Virtual Regatta – Media Liaison
+33 6 62 08 75 44
+1 617 488 5219