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Adidas’ Latest Metaverse Experiment Mixes Digital Try-On and Bizarre Avatars

Adidas is bringing its Ozworld sneakers to the metaverse thanks to a “landmark partnership” with the avatar creation platform Ready Player Me.

The digital experience will use a custom personality quiz to generate avatars that are interoperable across more than 1,500 apps and games. These alter egos will also offer users a means to digitally try on—and then purchase—sneakers from the new Ozworld collection. Every user will also be able to download their alter ego to “deploy” as stickers and GIFs across social media.

Ready Player Me provides users a place where they can create an avatar for all its partnered games and apps, including meeting platforms and virtual worlds. It has integrated other brands’ products in the past, including in August, when it partnered with RTKFT—the virtual fashion firm Nike bought in December—to add its Cyber Sneakers, Meta Jacket and Fewo Shoes as free wearables available to everyone using Ready Player Me.

Though Ready Player Me typically builds its avatars around user-submitted selfies, its partnership with Adidas will see it create characters based on how participants respond to a series of questions—including one which will ask users for their favorite Ozworld footwear silhouette. The platform will then translate this information into a unique avatar that “takes aesthetic inspiration from the collection’s dynamic visual codes.”

Images and video shared ahead of the launch suggest that the avatars will be more abstract than Ready Player Me’s typical realistic style. Some avatars, for example, appears to have an Adidas Trefoil logo for a head, while others seem to have no head at all. Most avatars are decked out in logo-covered apparel.

Ready Player Me typically generates avatars with human heads
Ready Player Me typically generates avatars with human heads Adidas

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Though the Ozworld digital experience will go live Friday, the first “installment” of avatars won’t arrive until April 28. When Adidas unveiled its partnership with Ready Player Me Tuesday, it noted that AdiClub members and Adidas NFT holders would receive early access.

Adidas took its first major step into the metaverse in December when it teamed with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, NFT influencer GMoney, and NFT comic series Punks Comic to release an NFT that it promised would be linked to digital and physical wearables. It sold 29,620 copies of the NFT at 0.2 ETH—more than $750 at the time.

Adidas did not say whether NFT ownership would unlock any special wearables for the Ready Player Me avatar. In December, it had indicated that its virtual products would be compatible with The Sandbox, a popular blockchain-based gaming world.

Also this week, Adidas Originals and performer Pharrell Williams launched their unisex Humanrace Premium Basics collection. Designed for “everyday wear,” the line brings together quality, vivid color and a loose fit, the company said.

The apparel line includes crewneck sweatshirts, sweatpants, hoodies, tees and shorts. Each item is available in seven colors with sizes ranging from 3XS to 2XL. The collection launched globally Thursday and is available online, in store and at select retailers.