Starbucks is finally, officially entering the metaverse. On Monday, the Seattle-based coffee giant announced the creation of Starbucks Odyssey: a Web3 experience launching in late 2022 where Starbucks Rewards members can buy and trade collectible limited-edition NFTs to unlock new rewards benefits and complete interactive activities to earn the NFT digital badges known as “journey stamps.”
With this announcement, Starbucks joins its other colleagues that have also experimented with interactive NFT trading and games in the metaverse, including Chipotle, Wendy’s and most recently: Taco Bell.
Starbucks is following the recent metaverse trend of lowering the barrier to entry for those without crypto know-how: the Starbucks Odyssey experience will not require users to use an Oculus Quest 2 (or any other special equipment) and it can be entered through the Starbucks Rewards app. Users also don’t need to have a crypto wallet to purchase the collectible NFTs.
“Leveraging Web3 technology will allow our members to access experiences and ownership that was not possible before,” Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice president and chief marketing officer said in a statement. “Starbucks Odyssey will transcend the foundational benefits that our Starbucks Rewards members have come to love, and unlock digital, physical and experiential benefits that are uniquely Starbucks. […] Our vision is to create a place where our digital community can come together over coffee, engage in immersive experiences, and celebrate the heritage and future of Starbucks.”
According to Starbucks, the interactive games will encourage users to collect these digital badges, which will also be assigned points values based on their rarity and can be bought or sold on the blockchain to unlock benefits like a virtual espresso martini-making class, access to exclusive merchandise, invitations to events at Starbucks Roasteries and even international vacations, like a trip to the Starbucks coffee farm in Costa Rica.
Each NFT will feature original artwork created by Starbucks partners and outside artists, and a portion of the proceeds of each NFT sale will go toward unspecified causes.
Starbucks also has addressed criticisms that the burgeoning metaverse community is eco-unfriendly with a promise to utilize “proof-of-stake” blockchain technology built by Polygon, which uses less energy than previous iterations of blockchains.
“This is just the beginning; Starbucks Odyssey is one of the ways we are reinventing the Third Place to meet our customers wherever they are – in a Starbucks store, on-the-go, or online,” Brewer said. “We are creating an accessible, digital Third Place community enabled by Web3 technology where Starbucks Rewards members and our partners can connect through unique experiences and come together around the love for coffee.”
Interested users can join the waitlist for the experience here.
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