NFL continues metaverse exploration with persistent Fortnite experience: NFL Zone

The National Football League announced today the launch of NFL Zone, a multifaceted, dynamic metaverse experience built in Fortnite Creative. Presented by Visa, the NFL's Official Payment Services Technology Partner, NFL Zone is designed to engage existing fans while increasing fan discoverability through an NFL-inspired social hub for Fortnite players and NFL football fans alike. Through NFL Zone, the NFL will deepen its commitment to creating interactive fan experiences in the metaverse.

Within NFL Zone, fans will find "The Hub" which offers a comprehensive fan experience including a virtual tailgate, Visa-sponsored stadium and mini game, and portals to maps inspired by individual NFL teams that will host "seek and sack," a modified version of the popular "search and destroy" teamplay. Visa's mini game "Blitz the Bag" features a "tag"-style gameplay where players sprint to pick up the bag first and try to bring it to one of the NFL stores located in the stadium without dropping it. The first team-inspired map will spotlight the San Francisco 49ers beginning today followed by other NFL team-inspired maps featuring the Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Giants, and more in subsequent months.

"Fortnite has become one of the go-to destinations for audiences seeking immersive, social experiences, and we see a massive opportunity to bring NFL football to a new generation of fans with NFL Zone," said Ed Kiang, VP of Video Gaming at the NFL. "Through developing a robust catalog of content with top gaming personalities and pairing it with a persistent presence in the metaverse, we'll be able to grow generational fandom off the field and enhance the connection audiences have with NFL football."

More than just a game, NFL Zone will partner with leading content creators in sports and gaming to drive awareness across social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube. NFL players will also join forces with these creators to promote and share their excitement for NFL Zone.

"As a long-time sponsor of the NFL, Visa has engaged with fans in real life through payment experiences in stadiums nationwide," said Mary Ann Reilly, CMO North America, Visa. "We're excited to be a part of this virtual activation, where we can meet gamers and NFL fans where they are, while expanding our exploration into the metaverse."

Leaning into decades of NFL rivalries, an NFC vs. AFC competition is built into the team-inspired maps. Participating content creators will have their wins tracked on a giant scoreboard in NFL Zone, with the division earning the most total points crowned champion after a final AFC vs. NFC playoff. Participants will also have an opportunity to compete alongside their favorite content creators, who will be assigned divisions to keep the competitive spirit alive.

"NFL Zone is a great example of the amazing experiences created and published to millions of players in Fortnite every day," said Matthew Henick, VP, Metaverse Development for Epic Games. "The NFL has used Fortnite's openly available Creative toolset to build a persistent, social and immersive experience that we can't wait to see evolve over the course of this NFL season and beyond."

NFL Zone was brought to life in partnership with SuperAwesome, whose technology provides the tools for safe digital engagement. Fans can access NFL Zone: The Hub globally by entering 3402-0256-6913 in the Island Code menu. To access the 49ers team-inspired map, fans can enter 6133-5764-5986 in the Island Code menu.