Grammy-nominated Recording Artist Fat Joe and Paralympic Athlete Blake Leeper Join the Fight for Inclusivity by Running the Degree® Metathon™ Alongside the Decentraland Community
NEW YORK, April 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Metaverse, positioned as a new virtual world free of physical limitations and societal stereotypes, is not yet meeting these ambitions. In fact, 60% of people feel that virtual worlds lack inclusivity, and many are calling for more accessibility.1 However, the Metaverse is still in its early stages of development, which is why Degree® Deodorant will partner with Decentraland to help shape the standard of inclusivity and representation in the virtual world. Together with Decentraland, Grammy-nominated recording artist Fat Joe (Joseph Antonio Cartagena), and Paralympic Athlete Blake Leeper, the brand will host the Degree® Metathon™ – the world’s-first marathon in the Metaverse – which will take place on April 26, 2022 at 6 p.m. EDT and will continue the brand’s ongoing fight for increased representation in movement.
As part of the brand’s mission to shape a more inclusive world where everyone has the confidence to move more, Degree® partnered with disability experts to better understand and identify the needs of underrepresented movers in the Metaverse. To advocate for these necessary changes, Degree® polled the Decentraland community and found that 98% of landowners support making movement in Decentraland more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. Following the Metathon™, the brand will expand on this initial work and partner with additional experts on disability, race, and gender inclusion. Together, they will aim to advocate for solutions and to action inclusive changes that allow everyone to see themselves represented as movers in the Metaverse, such as: adding audio description for people with visual impairments, implementing a non-binary experience when creating an avatar, constructing a variety of body shapes and sizes, and more.
Degree’s first step in the Metaverse is its introduction of a more inclusive avatar library, created in partnership with Decentraland. Available for the first time at the Metathon™, these newly developed wearables—such as prostheses, running blades, and a wheelchair—offer greater representation for people with disabilities and enable participants to create avatars representative of their unique identities. The Degree® Metathon™ course will cover 26.2 virtual miles of some of the most iconic scenes of the Vegas City Sports Quarter, Decentraland’s largest district. The course will incorporate accessible architecture to reflect a more inclusive landscape, with structures such as ramps for wheelchair users.
“As a person with disabilities and a professional runner, I am so excited to take part in the Degree® Metathon™,” said Eight-Time Paralympic Medalist Blake Leeper. “Showing people in the virtual world who are running with blades and other prostheses is something that I think will inspire confidence in people with disabilities to get involved and feel welcome to join in on this experience, and will ultimately contribute to increased representation.”
Degree® also chose to work with iconic hip-hop artist and musician Fat Joe because of his advocacy for representation – both inside and outside the music and entertainment industry – as well as his reputation as a bridge-builder for various communities across the country.
“As the metaverse continues to evolve, it’s important that the virtual world mirrors the representation in our everyday communities,” said Grammy-Winning Rap Artist Fat Joe. “From different body shapes to cultures to physical abilities, inclusion is key to making people feel welcome. I’m proud to take part in the Degree® Metathon™ and highlight this important message, so everyone feels comfortable and accepted in the metaverse.”
Beyond the Metathon™, Degree® exemplifies its purpose through the Breaking Limits Program—a five-year, $5 million commitment to transform lives through the power of movement. The Program supports youth sports organizations, whose members face the biggest barriers to being active – including barriers due to race, sexual orientation, disabilities, financial limitations, gender, age, socioeconomic status, and more. It provides them with access to coaches and mentors, along with safe spaces to move. The Program brings to life the brand’s aim to empower millions of young people to transform their lives through the power of movement by 2030.
“Over the last several years, Degree® has made great strides in progressing our mission of championing everyone to have the confidence to move more, and now we’re taking that same mission into the virtual world,” says Kathryn Swallow, Global Brand Vice President of Degree®. “We hope the Degree® Metathon™ will spark conversation on why representation matters—in both the Metaverse and the physical world—and its power in challenging societal norms. We’re excited about our partnership with Decentraland and about the potential to influence the virtual world as it’s being built and more widely adopted by consumers.”
Those interested in taking part in the world’s-first Metathon™ can visit the Events Page on Decentraland.org to register for the event taking place Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at 6 p.m. EDT.
Degree® deodorants and antiperspirants are designed to inspire the confidence in everyone to move more. We make it our business to know about sweat, and what we learn informs every product innovation to help you keep moving. As a brand designed for and dedicated to promoting movement, Degree® has always believed in the power of movement to enhance our wellbeing. Yet, we know that the opportunity to move is not distributed equally, which is why we have made a commitment to ensure everyone has the freedom to move and help youth transform their lives through the power of movement. We are bringing this commitment to life through a variety of ongoing partnerships and programs that strive to help everyone find the confidence to move beyond limits. Visit www.degreedeodorant.com and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to learn more.
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Beauty & Personal Care, Home Care, and Foods & Refreshment products, with sales in over 190 countries and products used by 3.4 billion people every day. We have 148,000 employees and generated sales of €52.4 billion in 2021. Over half of our footprint is in developing and emerging markets. We have around 400 brands found in homes all over the world – including iconic brands like Dove, Knorr, Hellmann’s, Magnum, Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Degree, Seventh Generation, St. Ives, Suave, TRESemmé, and Vaseline.
Our vision is to be the global leader in sustainable business and to demonstrate how our purpose-led, future-fit business model drives superior performance. We have a long tradition of being a progressive, responsible business. It goes back to the days of our founder William Lever, who launched the world’s first purposeful brand, Sunlight Soap, more than 100 years ago, and it’s at the heart of how we run our company today.
The Unilever Compass, our sustainable business strategy, is set out to help us deliver superior performance and drive sustainable and responsible growth, while:
- improving the health of the planet;
- improving people’s health, confidence, and wellbeing; and
- contributing to a fairer and more socially inclusive world.
While there is still more to do, in the past year we’re proud to have achieved sector leadership in S&P’s Dow Jones Sustainability Index, ‘Triple A’ status in CDP’s Climate, Water and Forest benchmarks and to be named as the top ranked company in the GlobeScan/SustainAbility Sustainability Leaders survey, for the eleventh consecutive year.
For more information about Unilever and our brands, please visit www.unilever.com
1 Wunderman Thompson, 2021 https://www.wundermanthompson.com/insight/representation-in-the-metaverse
SOURCE Degree Deodorant