HSBC has acquired a 3x3 land site in The Sandbox virtual environment as it seeks to create innovative brand experiences for customers and tap sports, esports and gaming enthusiasts.
The Sandbox is a decentralised gaming virtual world where players can build, own, and monetise their gaming experiences in the Ethereum blockchain. It is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based game software and VC company Animoca Brands.
Dozens of brands have acquired digital land in The Sandbox to build branded virtual experiences, from Adidas to South China Morning Post. In January, Animoca said The Sandbox had secured over 165 partnerships from brands and celebrities.
HSBC is the first bank to acquire The Sandbox land site. The bank said it forms part of its ambition to leverage the latest technology such as Web3 to digitise its engagement with customers, and build on its legacy of sports partnerships. A rendering of its site in The Sandbox shows a virtual sports stadium and what appears to be an office building.
Suresh Balaji, CMO Asia-Pacific, said: "The metaverse is how people will experience Web3, the next generation of the internet—using immersive technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality. At HSBC, we see great potential to create new experiences through emerging platforms, opening up a world of opportunity for our current and future customers and for the communities we serve.
"Through our partnership with The Sandbox we are making our foray into the metaverse, allowing us to create innovative brand experiences for new and existing customers. We’re excited to be working with our sports partners, brand ambassadors, and Animoca Brands to co-create experiences that are educational, inclusive and accessible."
Sebastien Borget, COO and cofounder of The Sandbox, commented: "We're pleased to see large, trusted institutions such as HSBC join The Sandbox open metaverse and embrace the culture of Web3, connecting with users through entertainment, gaming and user-generated content. We believe this is the beginning of a broader adoption of Web3 and the metaverse by institutions driving brand experiences and engagement within this new ecosystem."