Drone Racing League looks to the metaverse with Google Cloud partnership

Tech-focused agreement to also showcase DRL across esports and IRL.

Drone Racing League looks to the metaverse with Google Cloud partnership

Drone Racing League

  • Pair looking to reimagine ‘a new era of tech-driven sports’
  • Developers will get access to DRL data to assist pilots  

The Drone Racing League (DRL) has struck a partnership with Google Cloud in a move designed to showcase the competition across esports, the metaverse and real life.

The pact will officially launch at the opening race of the 2022/23 DRL season on 11th October.

The two parties said they plan to reimagine ‘a new era of tech-driven sports’ and ‘win over the developers of tomorrow’.

Speaking to the BlackBook, DRL president Rachel Jacobson emphasised the importance of social media broadcasts in helping to enhance visibility.

“We’re doing things on Instagram, Facebook Live and TikTok where we’ve really seen ourselves surpass so many of the traditional ‘big leagues’,” she said.

“We’ve gone from 500,000 followers on TikTok 12 months ago, now we’re at five million. In the rearview mirror now is Formula One, the NHL [National Hockey League], and soon-to-be Major League Baseball.

“Even though we’re only seven years old, we are making such leaps and bounds across some of these other more traditional stick and ball sports.”

The DRL’s first race of the new campaign is being held on the opening night of the Google Cloud Next conference in San Jose, California. There, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the Google Cloud Fly Cup Challenge, a competition for developers to boost cloud skills and drive innovation into the sport of drone racing using Google’s cloud platform.

Participating developers will also be able to utilise the DRL’s race data to predict race outcomes and provide tips to the league’s pilots.

“We’re giving them data and analytics about our pilots, about the drones, where they are going to come up with incredible intel that we can then use as we continue to power our sport forward,” explained Jacobson.

“They’re going to help us identify patterns and trends of pilot racing, and how pilots can really optimise their performance across the board.

“You think about how instrumental data is for LeBron James or Steph Curry on the basketball court. Everybody is utilising data to enhance their performance.

“Google Cloud is going to assist us with making sure that our pilots have that same information as well.”