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06/10/2022

Timberland doubles down on metaverse with Fortnite partnership

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Timberland is partnering with Fortnite (Photo: Business Wire)

Timberland is virtually engaging Fortnite players in product design as part of a new metaverse project.

The outdoor gear and apparel brand is launching a multi-faceted, multi-partner project aimed at engaging customers with an immersive multiverse experience that has both promotional and commercial aspects.

Centered on Timberland’s “Construct: 10061” program that serves as a workshop for innovative footwear designers, the program includes a virtual design lab and maker space located on the Fortnite immersive gaming platform. Built on the Epic Games Unreal Games 3D computer graphics game engine, the virtual lab is a re-creation of the brand’s real-world innovation lab and maker space, and is designed to give consumers insight into its design process.

Timberland’s Fortnite environment also includes an immersive gaming experience, “Timberland Parkour Trails,” which takes place on a custom Fortnite island featuring Arctic, desert, and forest settings. After visiting the Design Lab, players take on challenges and obstacles in each of the settings, unlocking special effects obtaining virtual samples. Players can also virtually design footwear.

Timberland builds metaverse presence

Timberland is no stranger to the metaverse or gamified customer experiences. In February 2022, the company launched TimbsTrails, an immersive 3D online experience that consists of six “chapters” taken from different parts of its history (and planned future). New updates to the experience will be added each season.

The immersive TimbsTrails experience allows users to move through a realistic, 360-degree virtual environment on their computer or device screen, and interact with lifelike digital characters. The experience also highlights a number of featured products from the past 50 years.

In an element of gamification, consumers can collect boot badges as they journey through the first five chapters of the experience to “unlock” the final chapter and step into the future of Timberland. 

The early 2022 release of TimbsTrails followed Timberland’s December 2021 introduction of another online environment designed to simulate the real world. The company is utilizing the Vurvey AR solution to enable customers to digitally interact with concepts in 3D and visualize them in their physical environment.

The platform combines 3D visualization with video survey tools that Timberland uses to provide customers with a digital view of concepts that represent how they will appear in final execution, while collecting feedback.

Timberland allows customers to virtually investigate the design details of a product and explain how they think the concept would function. Via Vurvey AR, customers can also identify which features of a new concept are most important to them, and highlight areas that feel confusing or misleading.

“Timberland was built on a foundation of footwear innovation; our partnership with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine allows us to explore new dimensions as we envision the future of bootmaking and boot culture,” said Drieke Leenknegt, chief marketing officer for Timberland. “At the same time, we’re inviting consumers into the world of design innovation within an amazing Fortnite experience. The possibilities to connect in the metaverse are endless.”

Based in Stratham, N.H., and a subsidiary of VF Corp., Timberland operates over 200 stores.