The Tampa Bay Rays organization has taken an equity position in Cityverse, a startup civic platform that will connect the community through information, ideas and experiences.
Team leadership sees Cityverse as a channel to build meaningful new ways for fans to engage with the team, and with each other. Tampa Bay Rays President Brian Auld, who joins the Cityverse Board of Advisors, said “We recognize and appreciate that our fans cheer on our team in a variety of ways – in-person at Tropicana Field, watching TV at home or at their favorite restaurant, and more and more on their laptops and smart phones. We are excited for this partnership with Cityverse, which will allow us to build stronger connections with our fans through content creation, community building and gamifying the fan experience.”
The two organizations will work to develop new initiatives through the Cityverse platform for the Rays and the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Both teams will promote Cityverse at games. The Cityverse brand debuted during the Rays’ Monday, Sept. 19 game with the logo on the pitcher’s mound and behind home plate.
Cityverse will build Rays and Rowdies specific features and content in partnership with the teams. Yuki Taketani, Emerging Tech Coordinator for both teams, sees strong potential for new types of fan engagement within Cityverse. “This platform will allow us to integrate existing and innovative technology to create unique rewards and experiences for fans, through their interest and support of the Tampa Bay Rays and Rowdies,” he says.
One key feature will be the Fanbar. The Fanbar gives fans a place to express their passion for the teams. Adding a Fanbar to a Homespace (profile) allows the Cityzen to create a customized avatar, display achievement awards and connect with other fans.
Fans will complete challenges to win real and virtual prizes like tickets, merchandise, badges and avatar upgrades. The avatar acts as a pass to the Rays Cityverse clubhouse. There, fans get to hear from, and interact with, Rays players, coaches and staff, as well as each other.
The Cityverse platform is in development with a beta launch planned for early 2023.