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Tennis Hall of Fame — Metaverse Experience

Virtualising the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Bringing the rich history of tennis into the future through a metaverse replete with paraphernalia and interactive diversions.

Digital Strategy – Metaverse – 3D Environments – Web3 – UX/UI

Acknowledging the role technology plays in evolving professional tennis and its global appeal, the International Tennis Hall of Fame sought to match the game’s physical splendour with a virtual experience brimming with history and fun.

International Tennis Hall of Fame
Sports Entertainment
Service (s)

The Challenge

The International Tennis Hall of Fame (ITHF) out of Rhode Island in the United States exists to ‘Preserve, Celebrate and Inspire’. What better way to broaden its mission than to virtualise its hallowed museum, thereby providing access to tennis fans from anywhere on the globe. As far as challenges go, this one was fired at Charles Elena with extra heat … It’s just as well we had the game to return serve.

The client’s objectives played to our strengths: we thrive on tackling new technologies and the opportunity to apply new tools and techniques – it helps our people and our business to grow and evolve. To deliver, we would need to expand on the agency’s limited but healthy knowledge of Web3 by acquiring new creative talent.

The Approach

The ITHF metaverse was Charles Elena’s first major metaverse assignment and would draw on two key elements: the significant campaigns we have done for the Australian Open tennis event in years prior and a series of smaller-scale metaverse “experiments” we had delivered for clients in preceding months.

We set about looking for ways to design a digital space that maintained ITHF’s rich history and character, while leveraging the digital freedom of a metaverse. Replicating the iconic Horseshoe Courtyard was an obvious starting point. It’s a memorable scene for first-time visitors and we were at pains to capture the tranquility of the actual courtyard on a sunny day. We also wanted to let users have a hit of tennis on the historical court featured in the centre of the garden. Within the museum walls is where the creative team began to play with size and scale as a way to give users a sense of awe and grandness as we told the story of tennis. Elements of gamification were used to entice users to explore faithfully digitised tennis artifacts and learn about Hall of Fame inductees.

Diligent coordination and project management enabled our distributed team to collaborate effectively over several months. Although the project had a large amount of unknowns and variables for us to contend with, the opportunity to work on unfamiliar terrain with a prestigious client inspired us to dig deep and deliver.

Charles Elena - Immersive - ITHOF - The Approach - 01

Enter and explore a 3D replica of the museum

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Meet/interact with tennis enthusiasts everywhere

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Have a hit on the ITHF’s very own grass court

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Interact with gear/artifacts from legends of the sport

The Approach

Timed for release in July 2023 to coincide with the ITHF’s annual induction ceremony and celebrations, the ITHF metaverse experience successfully elevated the museum’s profile, reflecting just how critical a role technology plays in professional tennis. Few people get the opportunity to visit the museum in person in their lifetime, but the next best thing is now in reach for tennis fans young and old, the world over.

For Charles Elena, this project was a true white-knuckle five-setter. Working with a modest budget, it pushed our creative and delivery capabilities to the limit, but we came through and we now have invaluable experience and insight that we can parlay into future Web3 plays.

The Impact

(A) truly transformational process to take the physical museum into a 3D digital environment … This cutting-edge experience takes history beyond borders and provides an immersive avenue for fans of all ages to be inspired by the legends’ careers, accomplishments and stories.

Dan Faber, CEO, International Tennis Hall of Fame

Success Stories

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