UEFA is counting down to the Women's Euro kick off by opening the doors to a virtual world in Roblox inspired by the tournament.
A trio of mascots called Kai (number 4), Robyn (number 10) and Ashley (number 7) will appear as interactive characters in The Road to UEFA Women's Euro game and star in a skills challenge and edutainment series on YouTube alongside some of Europe's top players.
In the game, created by Dubit, players can dress their avatar in their team's colors and train with the mascots to earn powers. A series of obstacle courses known as "Obbys" can be tackled by players who will be timed and must complete each course as quickly as possible by scoring goals and collecting golden tournament tickets along the way. A "stadium Obby" will be unlocked in June in the final run-up to the women's tournament.
The campaign aims to appeal directly and authentically to young girls and boys through the platforms they use daily. Roblox has more than 50 million daily active users, of which more than 50% are children under 12.
An ad campaign will run in Roblox to drive users to the game. There will also be a partnership with the Metaverse Gaming League that will include live-streamed events being hosted on Twitch.
The virtual game is complemented by a skills challenge and educational video series on YouTube where Hat Trick, the collective term for the mascots, will bring their unique personalities of skill, strength and smarts together.
In the educational content series are 12 players including Alexia Putellas, Barcelona FC and Spain national team player; Vivianne Miedema, Arsenal FC and Netherlands national team player; and Lucy Bronze, Manchester City FC and England national team player.
Aiming to inspire children aged between eight and 11 to both play and engage in football, the mascots will be drawing on the expertise of the international players to explain the key skills needed to be a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or a forward. The videos will also explore how to fuel your body and how to have a good mindset for football and life.
The video series can be viewed by children, parents and teachers on YouTube, and will also be shared with schools across Europe through the UEFA's Football in Schools program.
"The Uefa Women's Euro promises to be a record-breaking tournament. It has the potential to inspire millions of girls and boys to play football, so it is important for us to take the tournament to the platforms and spaces they occupy," said Guy-Laurent Epstein, marketing director at UEFA. "We hope our new gaming experience will capture the imagination of children and get them to interact with football and UEFA Women's Euro in a way that we have never explored before."
The Hat Trick mascot campaign supports one of the main goals of Time for Action the Uefa Women's Football Strategy to double girls' and women's participation in football by 2024.
This story first appeared on campaignlive.co.uk.