Virtual and real ice hockey fun
At the 86th IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in the arenas in Tampere and Riga this year, there are lots of ways for ice hockey fans to have fun and relax. Škoda, the Official Main Sponsor of the championship, has set up fan booths for this purpose.
Near Nokia Arena in Tampere, for example, ice hockey fans will find a 500 square metre fan activation area with Škoda cars on display, a giant goaltender mask and a variety of other stands. There, as in another Riga arena, you can try out what it’s like to be a goalie or take a peek inside an ice hockey locker room, where you can take part in a competition in the form of putting on ice hockey gear in the correct order.
Škoda fanzone in front of the arena in Riga
Using virtual reality goggles, you can then watch behind-the-scenes action in roughly thirty-second sequences: first, an empty locker room where the players begin to arrive to prepare for the game; then the coach gives a pre-game motivational speech and the team can take to the ice. Fans can also see what the locker room looks like at halftime and soak up the post-game atmosphere. In another activity, fans can show off their skills with a scaled-down hockey stick, while the fan room features historical ice hockey equipment, posters from previous IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships, the Škoda trophy for the Most Valuable Player of the 2023 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship and, on selected days, the IIHF trophy for this year’s winners.
In addition, QR codes are located throughout the Škoda fan zone area – these can be scanned with a mobile phone to enter a competition to win a hockey jersey or tickets to next year’s championship in the Czech Republic, specifically in Prague and Ostrava. And there are lots of other interesting things to experience in the virtual world.
Click here to see the Škoda fleet at this year’s IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship.
Virtual fan zone
This is the first year that the entire Skoda fan zone area will have its digital counterpart. It serves as a new communication channel and an extension of the existing virtual space of the Škodaverse during the tournament. “To coincide with the start of the tournament, we launched a digital twin of the Skoda fan zone area that closely mirrors the real space: its layout is the same and visitors can play the same games, just in digital form,” describes Luca Zicconi Web3 Studio Lead at Škoda Auto.
So in the virtual space you can try out the role of a goalie and test your goalkeeping reflexes, or open the door of an ice hockey locker room and watch the hustle and bustle inside. In some of these activities it was also possible to win NFT tokens in the form of rotating three-dimensional goalie masks. Each mask represents a country. The mask designs were created by artificial intelligence and the final 3D objects were created by Studio Blup from the UK.
Goalie masks as NFTs
Up to May 23 it was possible to compete for NFTs in the form of three-dimensional goalie masks in the virtual Škoda fan zone. These unique goalie masks represent each of the countries at the tournament and their cultural heritage. They were based on extensive research into various cultural environments, and artificial intelligence was used to create the initial designs. These were modified using 3D visualisation to create realistic prototypes. The ultimate aim was to create unique masks that goaltenders can’t usually wear, while celebrating each country’s unique heritage.