• Andy Marston

The UEFA Champions League is coming (close) to Loftus Road.

A startup has won a global licensing deal to open the first official UEFA Champions League experiential venue in Europe at Westfield London. It offers a potential blueprint for bringing consumers back to physical retail stores.

Photo Source: METRIX

Leading sport technology and gamification company, WallJAM has secured a long-term global licensing agreement with UEFA and opened the first official UEFA Champions League experiential venue at Westfield London (White City) - with plans to open further arena locations across Europe in the near future.

Under WallJAM’s newly created METRIX brand, the initial pop-up venue houses tech-inspired competitive football experiences that allow everyone to test their skills in a new way to play and also see how they fare against all competitors through a universal scoring system. The digital experience enables players to compete in the world’s most popular sport right on their local high street.

The project, which is backed by the likes of Serge Gnabry, Gary Cahill, and Glenn Hoddle, represents the first football activation venue of its kind for UEFA who are looking to connect with fans through immersive gameplay experiences for the world's biggest club competition.

The pop-up venue, which will be replaced with a larger permanent UEFA Champions League-themed arena in 2022, aims to deliver the world's best competitive sport-socialising environment. The arena will feature physical gameplay, e-gaming, 360-degree cinematic experiences, the latest in AR game tech, live sport, music and events, plus a retail store and bar.

This project provides one of the first scalable solutions for how the sports industry can help to drive consumers back to physical retail stores. In a world of digital, this new solution provides a blueprint for experiential retail that could benefit local economies and help clubs and leagues to build a physical presence across key markets.