The future of the World Cup. From Russia to Qatar…what’s next?

  • Design Thinking
  • Design your Strategy

As we approach the largest sporting event in the world, the 2018 Russia World Cup, we can’t help to imagine what the future holds for events of this magnitude. This year, over 5 million tickets were requested by football (aka as “soccer”) fans around the globe. Yet, only 2.4 million tickets were allocated to those same fans. So… what happens to the millions of fans left without tickets who are eager to spend their hard-earned money by traveling to distant lands to enjoy the wonders of the 11-on-11 game? What about the other millions and millions of fans who didn’t even consider traveling to the event because of the high travel and ticket costs, and time, of course.  Sure, there is always TV, but most want more. Add to this the massive gap between the stadium experience and the TV experience. Will technology bridge many of these gaps for the Qatar World Cup?

In 2022, fans might be “present” at games through a less expensive, but still quite incredible and immersive experience. Welcome to the Avatar Stadium Experience, Qatar 2022. Here’s what it might look like, and the new business model opportunities that will emerge from it.


The Avatar Stadium ticket will be available for one quarter the price of a regular ticket (you will need a pair of VR glasses/lenses and VR headphones). Don’t want to buy these? Bars, co-working spaces & movie theatres will rent these out to ticket holders.

Fans will experience a very similar feeling to being at (and in) the stadium, but they’ll be comfortably seated on their couch, or at the bar (with other Avatar World Cup fans), watching the matches from inside the stadium, from the seats they selected (yes, front row seats are still more expensive).

Stadiums will be stacked with high fidelity microphones and 360 3D cameras. Location-based sensors will place Avatar Stadium Experience ticket holders at the exact location and seat they’ve purchased.

Want to upgrade to a premium Avatar Experience? Remember this Nike Ad? Want if players have sensors and cameras built into their eyes, allowing you to experience the game through the eyes of your player of choice… Neymar, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo… who will you pick? Or will it be a rising star like Vinicius Jr, Christian Pulisic, or Justin Kluivert (you got it, the son of the legendary Patrick Kluivert)?

VR will increasingly become a combination of visuals with audio and haptics. Want to listen to the real-life 3D sound action going on inside the stadiums in Qatar? Done. Want to listen to other Avatar fans watching the game in the virtual stadium? You can do that too. What to “feel” what it’s like to have thousands of fans stomping their feet at the same time? Be prepared to have your world rocked!

This year the media industry expects a $2.4 billion spend around the World Cup, reaching out to the global audience of 3.5 billion people. Experiences like the Avatar Stadium will grow these numbers exponentially through new platforms delivering immersive and personalized brand experiences.

For instance, brands may expand their presence during the event on a global scale, offering deals and experiences to virtual ticket holders around the globe.

And, this won’t just be for beer, snacks, and shoes. Forerunners in the automotive industry will have their vehicles equipped with VR capabilities, turning your vehicle into a live game experience…  just in case you’re stuck in traffic during the big moments.

Want to find a date after the game at the Avatar Stadium Experience? Tinder now has virtual bars for you to meet up with people that were at the virtual game with you.


Here’s what the business model of this virtual experience might look like:

We’ve investigated one potential shift within the technological context of the World Cup taking place 4 years from now. Since we can’t really predict the future alone, what are the main trends you think will shape the next World Cup? Will they be technological, social, demographic, cultural, political, regulatory…? Is 2022 too early for disruption like this? Or, will this type of experience and all the business model shifts that come along with it happen faster than what most people expect? Most importantly, how will you prepare to take advantage of these exponential changes in the World Cup? Welcome to the World Cup in Qatar 2022 – Avatar tickets now available.


Reach out to us if you’re interested in sharing your views on the future of soccer.


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