Luxury Swiss watchmaker, Hublot has made its metaverse debut. The LVMH owned brand has unveiled its ‘Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium’ to celebrate soccer’s 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar which it sponsors as official timekeeper.
The virtual arena, in the photorealistic spatial.io metaverse, has been designed by architectural practice MEIS – behind IRL sports and entertainment venues like the Crypto.com stadium, Everton FC and Roma Stadiums. It is inspired by the silhouette of Hublot’s recently launched Big Bang e-watch and is the largest venue built in the Spatial metaverse to date.
The 90,000-spectator stadium is equipped with a kilometer-long equivalent concourse and media wall showcasing visuals from the Hublot Loves Football campaign linked to the soccer World Cup featuring brand friends and ambassadors like French international striker Kylian Mbappé. It is accessible via mobile and desktop apps or an Oculus headset.
“At Hublot, innovation is the driving force behind everything we do,” said Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe via email. “We’ve decided to explore this new space because we feel that it’s the right moment and that it holds a lot of potential for our brand.”
Spatial’s accessibility was a major draw, he continued. “We specifically chose to work with Spatial because it is available on VR, web and mobile.”
Aside from being a metaverse debut for Hublot, the Spatial activation also provides a revealing insight into the direction that marketing is headed. Up until now brand campaigns generally involve print, digital, social and out of home advertising media. Going forward, however, it is likely that strategies will take in an additional metaverse dimension.
According to Guadalupe, the goal for the Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium is to bring artists, athletes and the brand’s savoir-faire to customers in a new way. “We wanted to create a destination.” he wrote. “We don’t expect people to spend endless hours in the virtual world, we expect them to live unique experiences.”
In that Spatial features Ready Player Me avatars which can be animated with a user’s own photograph there’s plenty of scope for interesting interactions.
Going forward, the ‘Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium will operate as a hybrid sport, art, and digital events space. “As technology advances and adoption grows, this will be an incredible opportunity to connect with Hublot,” said Guadalupe, adding that “Hublot has always been first, unique and different so this was a natural step.”
Indeed, Hublot was an early adopter of crypto amongst luxury watch brands. In 2018, it unveiled its limited edition Big Bang Meca-10 P2P timepiece — only available for purchase via Bitcoin payment to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the currency.
According to the brand, further Web3 related announcements are in the pipeline. “The Hublot stadium is only the beginning of a new adventure in the metaverse,” said Guadalupe.
There’s a real synergy between sport and the Web3 ethos as both are very much community driven. “The sports industry, more than any other has an opportunity in popularizing the metaverse,” agrees Julien Keller, co-founder of soon-to-launch experiential metaverse The Societhy. “Immersive and interactive experiences are in line with what fans are looking for: stronger emotions and a better connection between them and the athletes.”
The Spatial initiative also has a phygital element whereby VR equipped pop-up exhibition spaces next to Hublot boutiques in the Middle East region (Doha, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand) will allow visitors to explore the virtual stadium during soccer’s FIFA World Cup. hublot.com