Shoe company Vans launching 'Vans World' within Roblox as part of metaverse push

SEP 01, 2021

The latest company to take a leap into the metaverse: Vans.

The skateboarding shoe giant announced a partnership with video game Roblox on Vans World, an interactive experience where players can skateboard in various parks while decked out in fresh Vans gear.

The hub will include shops where players can buy custom parts for their skateboards including decks and wheels, as well as apparel such as customizable Vans sneakers.

It will also feature virtual skate parks modeled after real locations found around the world.

"We kept a lot of the Roblox aesthetic in there, but we wanted it to be also representative of some of the things that are important to us globally," said Julia Patkowski, senior manager of global brand digital marketing at Vans, during a recent demonstration of Vans World.

Some items will be free, including a regular "free item of the day," but some offerings at shops are available for purchase with Robux, an in-game currency used in Roblox.

Some apparel from Vans World can be worn outside of the experience in other Roblox games, with the exception of shoes.

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Christina Wootton, vice president of brand partnerships at Roblox, said the Vans experience is an ideal fit for the video game platform since both companies share similar values.

"We’re bringing our communities together to power self-expression and creativity," she said. "It’s just a really beautiful experience."

Vans World is another example of companies venturing into the metaverse, which combines elements of virtual reality and augmented reality to connect others online. Many tech leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg see the metaverse as the eventual successor to the modern internet.

Both Roblox and battle royale video game Fortnite have dabbled with the metaverse in various ways. In July, Roblox announced a partnership with Gucci where players can outfit their avatars with the fashion label's gear.

Meanwhile, Fortnite has hosted several events within its game, most recently the Rift Tour, featuring a musical performance from pop star Ariana Grande.

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