LootMogul, a company that is creating 180 “sports cities” in the metaverse, announced last week that it had reached its first naming rights deal. Hoop Culture, an online retailer of basketball lifestyle apparel and accessories will affix its name to an arena in LootMogul’s Web3 version of the city of Orlando.
Those who don’t yet spend a lot of time in the metaverse can take a look at this video to see what a virtual arena in one of LootMogul’s other cities, San Francisco, looks like. Viewers should note the prominent disclaimer about brand images being “for demo purposes only,” as apparently no sponsorship deals have been reached for the building that is “coming soon.”
While the financial terms of Hoop Culture’s agreement were not released, the naming rights element appears to be a clever way to capture attention while the core of the partnership, like many metaverse real estate deals, is centered on the brand having storefronts to sell physical products to visitors. The naming rights press release mentions that Hoop Culture will have “retail/experiential stores in five arenas within the LootMogul Metaverse.” In fact, one can be seen in the San Francisco arena video.
In that sense, this virtual naming rights deal is similar to real-world title sponsorships. While generating awareness may be one objective, additional benefits and activation will ultimately drive additional, tangible return on investment.
It is interesting that Hoop Culture’s arena is located in a virtual Orlando, as the central Florida city has expressed its desire to become known as the MetaCenter, the “leading region in the U.S. building the foundation of the Metaverse.”
As part of that effort, the organization behind the MetaCenter concept—regional economic development group the Orlando Economic Partnership—is working with Unity Technologies, the video game engine developer, to build a digital twin of the 800-square-mile metro area, capturing 3D scans of exteriors and interiors of buildings.
Depending on Orlando’s plans for its mirror image metaverse presence, its creation raises interesting questions for marketers.
For some with an actual presence in the region, such as Disney, Universal or Orlando Magic arena naming rights partner Amway, how valuable is the additional exposure to Web3 denizens in metaverse Orlando?
For those buying or selling partnerships within the region, does exposure and activation in the metaverse become an additional set of rights and benefits to negotiate?
Would the Orlando Economic Partnership consider monetizing the digital twin by offering metaverse sales rights to those with actual storefronts? What would the value of those rights be versus the ones offered by LootMogul or any other metaverse developer?
The infinite possibilities of the metaverse come with exponentially more questions for marketers than just those few, of course, and it will be years before we have concrete answers. So for now, buckle up and enjoy the ride!