22 Apr 2022 • Retail
Adidas’ virtual sell-in shows how the metaverse is transforming online commercial events
A custom metaverse and virtual reality setting allowed Adidas to host a virtual 2022 FIFA World Cup sell-in with the same prowess as an in-person event.
With pandemic-related travel restrictions still in place for many, Adidas was presented with a challenge: how to ensure that buyers around the world could attend a crucial sell-in event ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup? With more than 150 dealers and 1,500 buyers to accommodate, the sportswear brand teamed up with retail experience agency Liganova to design a centralized, virtual sales experience. The online sell-in event sought to create an interactive digital world in which buyers would be presented with information and products in an immersive way.
In the virtual setting, holograms of Adidas’ CEOs Roland Auschel and Brian Grevy Part were used to share insights of the brand’s strategic direction for the FIFA World Cup. Following the introduction and brand movie, a virtual reality experience designed in collaboration with immersive experience specialists Artificial Rome and Waltz Binaire allowed guests to experience the unveiling of products such as the official World Cup ball, shoes and jerseys. In the virtual reality experience, each product could be viewed in detail closely mimicking the in-person buying experience.
Through the foundation of a virtual world in which participants could interact with, this event toed the line of the metaverse and demonstrated the growing commercial participation of mainstream brands in the online world. As many are still limited by travel restrictions, Adidas knew that a traditional sell-in format for one of its most important partnership events would not suffice; an in-person event runs the risk of excluding important clients while a traditional online event risks lacking engagement.
Turning to a metaverse setting allowed the brand to maintain the essence of a physical sell-in in the online environment. Using holograms creates a sense of familiarity while virtual reality enables the same level of intimate interaction typically associated with physical events. While online events in the wake of the pandemic can be notoriously boring, Adidas successfully conducted a crucial sales event by employing the strengths of the virtual world.