As the metaverse continues to expand and grow, so do the people engaged in it.

So, with that said, it makes sense why Degree® Deodorant is partnering with Decentraland, Grammy-nominated artist Fat Joe, and paralympic athlete Blake Leeper for the first-ever marathon set to take place in the metaverse. The goal is to push for more inclusivity in the virtual world and continue the brand’s continuous fight for representation when it comes to sports.

“I woke up this morning and I was just thinking about the metaverse, and recently people have been talking about it’s not diverse enough. It doesn’t have enough inclusivity,” Fat Joe told AfroTech. “When you think of the metaverse, it was made for inclusiveness, you know.” 

He continued: “Everything I do just refers back to lyrics and one that sticks out is when Tupac said, ‘It ain’t no hope for the future.’ Because we’ve been dealing with a racist, real world. Now, as we are in the metaverse, where we’re supposed to use our imagination and creativity, we still have these problems. I thank Degree for being in the forefront and tackling these issues out of the gate and we are here to have more inclusiveness and bring diversity to the metaverse and just make everybody equal.”

Degree Metathon

As a part of the partnership with Decentraland, Degree will introduce more inclusive avatars for users in the metaverse to choose from.  Wearables for characters include prostheses, running blades, and a wheelchair to offer more representation for people with disabilities.

“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 in an official press release. “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.”

For Fat Joe, finding a way for everyone to feel included in the virtual world is just as important as the real world.

“It’s about everybody being who they are,” said Fat Joe. “So, whatever your spirit is, whatever your soul is, your DNA, and whatever makes you happy, you should be able to represent that in the metaverse.”

A More Inclusive Future

Along with the first-ever marathon, Degree has revealed its plans for its Breaking Limits Program.

Over the next five years, the brand will commit $5 million to transform the lives of others through the power that comes with moving your body. 

Youth sports organizations are often affected the most when it comes to barriers in place that can prevent one from being active. From race and sexual orientation to disabilities, financial limitations, and beyond, Degree’s new program seeks to help bridge the gap by empowering more youth to tap into the power that comes from movement.

“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,” said 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.”

The world’s first Metathon™ is set to take place on April 26.

Click here for more on how to register.