Adidas Throws a Music Party in China’s Metaverse

What Happened: Adidas Originals is dancing to the beat of its own drum. On May 22, the sportswear brand teamed up with Tencent Music Entertainment Group’s virtual music festival TMELAND to host “Landing on OZ Future Concert” (登陆OZ未来音乐会). Attracting 1.3 million participants, the event featured performances from Korean-American rapper Jay Park and Chinese-American rapper MC Jin. Using virtual avatars — dressed in Adidas’ latest Ozworld collection — guests could also attend a catwalk, complete timed activities to redeem digital Ozworld sneakers, and socialize with their friends.

Jay Park and MC Jin perform using avatars dressed in Adidas’ Ozworld collection. Photo: Adidas’ Weibo

The Jing Take: Both Tencent and Adidas have racked up several “firsts” in their race to win the metaverse. Prior to this collaboration, Tencent hosted China’s first TMELAND festival on December 31, welcoming millions of netizens to enjoy music from iconic artists like Jay Chou and Mayday. In January, the Chinese tech giant also launched a new 3D interactive space called Super QQ Show on its QQ messaging platform (similar to Animal Crossing), and later applied for a virtual concerts patent. Meanwhile, Adidas created a first-of-its-kind collaborative NFT art project with Prada as well as the world’s first personality based avatar creation platform with Ready Player Me.

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The Ozworld festival builds on these efforts to push the boundaries of Web3. Besides supporting artists, the event allows Adidas to build a variety of landscapes that increase consumer interactions with the brand and strengthen loyalty. That said, not all concerts are a hit; Meta’s slate of virtual concerts last December with rapper Young Thug, DJ David Guetta, and EDM group The Chainsmokers failed to attract many viewers, likely due to limited publicity and a lackluster viewing experience (Guetta just had a 2D live streamed video). 

With COVID-19 cases now rising in Beijing, holding large-scale, in-person entertainment events in China could remain difficult. Not only are virtual festivals a fun way to resume branded events, but they also lift spirits as lockdown angst grows. 

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.