Rec Room teams up with NFL – Just in time for the NFL playoffs, Rec Room social gaming app users can now get their favourite team’s gear for their in-app avatars.
Rec Room, the Seattle startup behind the eponymous app, announced on Thursday that it has teamed up with the National Football League to create a new “digital fan experience.”
Players can create and customise avatars in the Rec Room app, then use them to participate in a wide range of user-created activities, such as sports, paintball, or simple social interaction. [Rec Room teams up with NFL]
Rec Room and its player community have created thousands of pieces of virtual clothing for avatars to wear over the last six years, including hats, suits, T-shirts, and carried accessories.
This now includes official NFL merchandise as of Thursday. Users can now purchase licenced NFL hoodies and hats for their avatars through a new pop-up shop in the Rec Room app. Rec Room currently has representation from all 32 NFL teams, including the Seattle Seahawks.
Fans who have outfitted their avatars in official NFL gear can then use the in-app photobooth in the Rec Center to take photos that can be shared on social media or hung on the wall in their player housing.
“Adding Rec Room as another virtual destination for the NFL will enhance our ability to reach existing fans while discovering new fans in their community of over 80 million users globally,” said Ed Kiang, the NFL’s vice president of video gaming, in a statement.
The NFL/Rec Room collaboration comes nearly six weeks after the release of the NFL Zone, an officially-licensed “metaverse experience” built within Fortnite Creative that includes its own sponsored minigames and a virtual tailgate party. Kiang described it at the time as “a massive opportunity to bring NFL football to a new generation of fans.”
The NFL also recently inked a deal with Google for NFL Sunday Ticket streaming rights, which piqued the interest of other tech behemoths such as Amazon and Apple.
The NFL partnership with Rec Room follows a two-year period of record growth for its game, including the recent introduction of physical gift cards and a brand crossover with Mattel’s Masters of the Universe toy line. Rec Room reported 640% year-over-year growth on mobile last month, with 29 million active users across all platforms in Q1 2022.