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How the metaverse is enabling the future of brand partnerships in fitness
November 28, 2022
The hot topic at the moment is what the metaverse means for brands.
But maybe we should start by aligning on what the metaverse actually is. In its simplest form, it’s the internet, but in 3D. So it’s the next version of the internet – a more immersive experience – and its defining quality will be a feeling of presence, like you are right there, touching an interface, with another person or in another place. This isn’t about spending more time on screens. It’s about making the time we already spend better.
The metaverse is not here yet; it is some five to ten years away. So businesses need to build for today’s opportunities, by continuing to innovate, experiment, and grow audiences in existing platforms. For the fitness industry, it isn’t about building the metaverse, it’s about building for the metaverse - a way of exploring a whole new way of inspiring people to move.
Here we look at how the metaverse will be built collaboratively and bring communities closer together.
How FitXR and MyProtein formed the perfect metaverse partnership
It’s a pretty well-known fact that physical activity is essential for us both mentally and physically, and yet so many of us find exercise a chore, either because it’s boring, or hard to stick to, or we’d just prefer to spend our time relaxing and being entertained.
Finding the sweet spot for fitness in the metaverse will be a huge deal. And on VR headsets, which combine movement, entertainment and community, there is an opportunity to do just that.
There are a growing number of fitness apps being made on and for Meta Quest. This is in no small part down to the Meta Quest mantra being, “inspiring the world to move more through the superpowers and joy of VR.” One app which is really leaning into their mission of building a healthier world for everyone, is FitXR. The app is packed with on-demand classes that provide three types of full body workouts, to cover the many needs of different people. And all hosted by world-class fitness professionals in dynamic environments.
This same ethos is also central to the number one sports nutrition brand in the world: MyProtein.
Knowing these values were shared by both brands, Meta devised a new style of partnership which would bring value to both brands, but more importantly their consumers too.
After intros were made and the alignment highlighted, Meta stepped away leaving MyProtein and FitXR to work together. A brand partnership of the future, focused on innovative, forward-thinking ways of working, to move towards a shared goal of building a healthier world by making movement for everyone.
How the brands benefit
VR experiences offer a new style of partnership, where e-commerce brands can express their mission in a new way, and give unique experiences to people.
FitXR purpose built a new space in which MyProtein could expand their ways to interact with their customers. They were able to offer their network of customers new exercise areas, a branded workout environment, with a bespoke fitness challenge that kept users coming back.
“The coming together of two like-minded companies to create a partnership that could live in the metaverse is a testament to its unparalleled ability to build connection and community across the globe,” said Sam Cole, CEO & co-founder of FitXR. “In creating the Power Your Potential Challenge, FitXR and Myprotein are delivering on the road to the metaverse - a place where people can enhance their personal growth through digital foundations.”
In return, MyProtein offers the scale of a hugely popular sports nutrition brand, giving a 30 day free-trial to FitXR with every purchase. Both brands also offered the chance to enter a competition to win a Quest 2 headset and a 12 month FitXR membership.
How the consumers benefit
Aside from the obvious lure of winning prizes, two of the main blockers of people exercising are lack of enjoyment and lack of confidence exercising in a public space such as the gym.
The evidence that VR fitness combats these issues is mounting fast; the ability to exercise in the comfort of your own home, the motivational feedback users receive and the freedom of class choice in apps like FitXR.
Charley Caines, head of global communications for Myprotein, said: “The fitness industry is constantly evolving, and so are the needs of audiences wanting to have an active lifestyle. We’re putting our customers at the forefront of the 3D digital or immersive fitness revolution by partnering with FitXR, to better support them in an ever-changing landscape. The Power Your Potential Challenge was just the start, and we can’t wait to watch this space, and our partnership with FitXR grow and evolve.”
But what makes this partnership special? Well, it’s all to do with the power and scale behind the MyProtein brand, and the quality workouts and environments in the FitXR app. Together they’re like Spiderman with IronMan’s technology.
The more reach this partnership can drive, the more exposure these new ways to move get, and the more both brands can deliver on building a healthier world for everyone. And with the abundance of creators MyProtein works with, and the power creators have across Meta’s platforms, the future looks to be filled with positive associations with exercise and movement.
How communities benefit from connection
For e-commerce brands, a large part of their relationship with consumers is both functional and transactional. Evolving consumer expectations mean that people want more than just a sale, they want a connection - and by their very nature, VR experiences offer social connection, co-presence, and community.
MyProtein already has a strong community of 8m social followers globally, but partnerships like this one with FitXR enable fitness communities to grow stronger and cross pollinate between the two brands.
Fitness is one of the strongest passions that unites people, and we believe Quest is a great enabler of these partnerships to make fitness more fun, more interactive and connect people together.
In a medium where everything is new, having a north star to align to is paramount to building value, it feels like the common desire of MyProtein, FitXR and Meta to empower positive change and help people achieve their goals in the most joyful and connected way possible have led to the beginning of a very successful partnership.
It’s early days and we’re all still building towards the metaverse and what that means for brands. We’re excited about how VR partnerships can bring brands together in this fitness space, to enable larger and more connected communities, whatever the movement may be.
Learn more about how Reality Labs brings together a world-class team of researchers, developers, and engineers to build the future of connection within virtual and augmented reality.