The NFT-focused community World of Women announced on Tuesday that it is coming to gaming platform The Sandbox, for the first partnership of its kind.
The main focus of the partnership is a $25 million grant through the WoW Foundation to bring crypto education to women. This will be done through courses and informed entrepreneurship, with initiatives like the WoW University and the WoW Academy. These will be hosted in The Sandbox, which is hoping to gain a bigger female audience through the initiatives.
Founded in 2011, The Sandbox is a blockchain-based virtual world where players can create NFTs, display their NFTs on their land visit new lands with their avatar and engage with other players and brands. Gucci acquired land in the game last month. The platform has experienced rapid growth, reporting more than 500,000 users as of November last year. The five-year partnership will shine a light on how brands and platforms can engage with NFT projects with strong values-based communities.
According to the announcement, the partnership and Foundation will focus on four pillars: uplifting the metaverse ecosystem by supporting artists and funding projects, educating newcomers on Web 3, communicating to give more visibility to women-centric causes, and giving back to charities.
“We know it takes time for people to get into web3, so we want to onboard as many people as possible. We also want to have time to experiment with this new university format, and refine and improve it over time,” said Mathieu Nouzareth, board member at The Sandbox.
The partnership will provide business development opportunities and support NFT creators in learning about web3, the metaverse, NFT creation and auctions. The Sandbox is also launching interoperable WoW avatars, a dedicated space in The Sandbox for a WoW museum, free interactive online lessons through the WoW University and an incubator program through the WoW Academy for budding NFT entrepreneurs, complete with an end of season showcase. “We really want to lead and support more women in the metaverse like we are doing in the NFT space. But the focus here is that we really want to expand this to developers,” said Yennefer, head of community at World of Women.
Talking about the university, Nouzareth said, “The point of doing it inside the Sandbox is we want it to be different. We will be working toward coming up with different narratives, different experiences for learning. That will make it a bit more fun.” He also mentioned that there are more brand partnerships coming soon for The Sandbox in the coming months.
WoW, or World of Women, started out as an avatar art project similar to that of the Bored Apes Yacht Club, but with a singular focus on bringing more women into the crypto and NFT space. Digital illustrator Yam Karkai launched the WoW project with 10,000 avatars in July 2021. The project is now one of the most popular female-led NFT projects, with endorsements from celebrities like Eva Longoria, Reese Witherspoon, Lima Payne and Logan Paul. In January, Logan Paul sold an NFT from his 30-strong collection for a record 200 ETH, or $765,000.
According to a report by ArtTactic, which analyzes the growing NFT art space, female artists account for less than 16% of the NFT art market and only 5% of NFT sales. WoW has gone against the statistics by putting up 15% of its sale proceeds into a fund to reinvest in other crypto-art projects, while an additional 7.5% is split between charities dedicated to educating girls and ending child marriage.
One of the main problems brands have when it comes to entering the metaverse and NFT spaces is the question of application: How should brands and platforms get involved, when the community is already strong and doesn’t seem to gain from a brand presence? With crypto’s decentralized format and the profitable NFT space, the field is well suited for values- and cause-led projects.
The recently announced collaboration between Metabirkin NFT founder Mason Rothschild and artist Amber Park is also focused on a pressing issues. Their project aims to raise awareness and mitigate environmental issues like climate change and natural resource depletion, while supporting growing social justice causes. The project has amassed a following of 12,000 on Discord, showing the potential audience for brands to get involved in values-led NFT projects geared towards a conscientious NFT community.