HCM Issue 1 2022

Page 5

ED ITO R’ S LE T TER

Into the Metaverse

T

he Metaverse has landed in the fitness industry this month with the news that Trib3 is to launch its brand in The Sandbox – a Blockchain-based decentralised Metaverse where consumers and businesses can own, build and monetise virtual experiences to be enjoyed by consumers (page 31). Trib3 will partner with Australian tech company, OliveX, which has bought space (or ‘land’) in The Sandbox and named it the Fitness Metaverse. The Sandbox is already home to content from companies such as Adidas and Team GB. Although Trib3 is a first mover, the deal is not exclusive and OliveX is expected to strike agreements with other fitness brands to join this space. The deal will see Trib3’s workouts and group fitness classes delivered in the digital world – along with the first-ever Trib3 NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which will enable the company to develop revenue streams. CEO, Kevin Yates, says players can expect to experience Tribe3’s industrial luxe ‘feel’ in the Metaverse, along with added extras: “They’ll be able to swap the Trib3 Sweat Points they earn in the gym for Dose tokens which can then be spent in the Metaverse,” he said. “And when they go for a run, they’ll be able to have their friends running with them as avatars.” Yates said the operating processes behind the Trib3 concept lend themselves to the gamification and tokenism which is synonymous with the Metaverse. This emerging platform presents the industry with both opportunities and threats – the opportunity to develop new revenue streams, undertake innovative brand extension and explore new digital frontiers, but also the threat that non-facility based businesses will develop rival brands or leverage existing properties to build competitive businesses. It’s another medium to learn and understand, to allocate resources to, as well as to monitor and refine, all of which takes bandwidth which some operators just don’t have at present. However, as with the early days of the web, we’ll see a land grab by those who see the potential of being early adopters, even if defensively. +4 4 (0)1462 431385

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Since Mark Zuckerberg renamed Facebook Inc – calling it Meta – the tech world has accelerated the development of the Metaverse, opening up new opportunities for the fitness sector

Consumers can experience workouts in virtual worlds

The Metaverse presents the industry with both opportunities for new revenue streams and the threat of competition The Metaverse is not new, having been first conceptualised in the 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash and brought to fruition by Second Life in 2003, but since Mark Zuckerburg renamed Facebook Inc – calling it Meta – development has accelerated, with huge investment pouring into the building-out of this emerging platform. Now’s the time to be making your brain ache thinking through what the Metaverse will mean for your business and making or refining your plans when it comes to how the technology can be applied and how you respond, both aggressively and defensively. Liz Terry, editor lizterry@leisuremedia.com

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