Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane has invested in football training and entertainment company, TOCA Football – the game that’s taking London’s O2 Arena by storm.
TOCA, founded by former Premier League star Eddie Lewis, have indoor football centers in the USA but is more well-known in the UK for its hugely-popular TOCA Social site.
Described as ‘the world’s first interactive football and dining experience’, TOCA Social at the O2 combines ‘immersive gaming and world-class food and drink’.
Players take turns facing a robot based on former Fulham, Preston North End, Leeds and Derby ace Lewis’ own training methods – trying to control a football fired across the floor at speed, before hitting targets that appear on an interactive screen – earning points for accuracy and power.
And it appears England captain Kane is a big fan, having joined the team as one of their new investors.
The Tottenham striker said: “With TOCA Social, it’s a chance to have a good time with your mates. You’re always bantering your mates about who’s a better footballer, and this kind of settles that debate.
“You can come here and have it out and also have a good time, have some drinks, have some food, and enjoy being with each other.
“I think that’s kind of the appealing factor of it.”
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He added: “I invested in TOCA because I wholeheartedly believe in the company.
“TOCA offers unmatched technologies which help players improve and immersive entertainment experiences which are fun for everyone.
“I am delighted to support TOCA’s global expansion and share its vision for the future of soccer, the sport I love.”
“Harry is a true soccer legend and an incredible global ambassador for soccer,” said Yoshi Maruyama, TOCA’s CEO.
“His love and passion for the game matched with his forward-thinking vision about the sport and developing the players of the future, is a great representation of what TOCA is all about.”
TOCA founder Lewis joined talkSPORT.com for a chat back in May, and revealed how he came up with the concept, which has proven extremely popular with UK football fans.
The 47-year-old said: “It really was an evolution. TOCA was founded on a training principle. We have 20 centers in the US that use our technology for training football players.
“Along the way, we found that the experience was extremely engaging. Often, if a player was coming in to train, the brother or the sister or the mum or the friend – they would want to jump in and have a go.
“That was the foundation for what then became an entire experience built around that. Introducing this really innovative concept about football, there’s probably no better place to do it than the Home of Football, right?”