Ubiquitous use of Web 3.0 is on its way, and with it comes the next generation of brand, fan, and commerce experiences. We talked with Steve Cumming, the CEO and Co-Founder of EQUITBL, a Web 3.0 brand and consumer engagement agency, about how companies can confidently create engagement in this new version of the web.
Why did you decide to form EQUITBL, and what is your vision?
We created EQUITBL with the belief that the ‘new’ smart digital technologies will create the next generation of engagement and communities for brands and rights holders, enabling brands to do what they have been doing for decades but now utilizing these emerging technologies.
Our vision is to create the leading global smart digital asset and e-commerce experience for global brands and IP owners, their consumers and their fans. We are focused on building a unique business model that takes a leadership and innovation approach to the development of a digital assets and collectibles marketplace; DNIZN and the DNIZN NFT Marketplace.
With a unique focus on brands, the DNIZN Marketplace is a safe and secure platform for global brands and IP Owners to build engaged communities with a specific focus on their ability to activate their strategic rights holder partnerships through the creation of unique, data-driven digital assets. Furthermore, consumers will be able to buy and sell digital assets using fiat currencies and without the pain points of the crypto wallet experience.
How do brands view EQUITBL in terms of the value the company brings to them?
Security governance and community engagement are at the heart of our proposition. We believe that the future should and will be a more regulated market and that we will be leaders in that approach in line with the needs of our brand partners. Our new DNIZN platform not only provides a safe and secure environment for brands and consumers to interact, but also simultaneously ensure utility and create unique digital assets and collectibles using data across sports, music and entertainment.
Brands also value our approach regarding engagement and sustainability. A large number of active users will not only keep the business going in the long run, but will also allow DNIZN to add more "gamification" to the platform as a whole, as well as to specific brands and their audiences. Authenticity is also a major issue in the open marketplaces that have developed to date that we hope to solve with The DNIZN digital collectibles Marketplace. The marketplace will ensure the authenticity of assets for the brands, IP Owners, and the rest of the DNIZN community.
Are you solely NFT-focused, or are you more broadly involved with the Metaverse and Web3?
We would definitely not say we are solely focused on ‘NFTs’. We don’t even think that NFT is an accurate description of the future use of these technologies. We are a web3.0 technology and strategy company with a primary focus on creating products and strategies for IP owners that build communities and deepen consumer and fan engagement. Where NFTs are concerned, we are embracing that technology to create smart digital assets and collectibles enhancing decades of consumer engagement campaigns that have to date only operated in the physical and experiential worlds.
What are you working on with clients currently?
We have been helping leading global sports brand Umbro take its first step into Web 3.0 by making a unique digital asset collectible to go with its big ‘Nations Collection’ product launch and consumer campaign. The fashionably futuristic character ‘UmbroID’ (‘Umbro’ + ‘Droid’) is wrapped in the Nations' patterns and is a digital manifestation of the football fan. It exists in a fantasy world inspired both by another planet and a desert environment at dawn. UmbroID sets the tone for future possibilities and provides the perfect setting for the vivid Nations' patterns to take center stage.
How do you see the NFT world in general? It’s evolving quickly right? Maybe describe some of the NFT origin story, where it is today and where you see it going.
We see the NFT world in terms of emerging technologies and the opportunities that they present when shaped for a brand and consumer needs. We see an exciting opportunity for DNIZN and our brand partners to bring these technologies to the "mainstream " consumer in a big way. The market was created based on speculative value, and we see the future in terms of ‘communities’ ‘utility’ and ‘engagement’
This is just the start, but we see a world that is more regulated and we welcome that.
For its brand and IP Owner partners, we see DNIZN as a market leader in driving engagement and protecting digital and physical assets. Therefore, EQUITBL is now working with top legal professionals in the digital asset market to make sure the method is compliant and future-proofed.
About Steve Cumming: Steve is an expert in acquiring, creating, managing and commercialising global brand partnerships across sport, music and entertainment.
Steve has 25+ years’ experience leading the partnership and experiential strategy for some of the most revered brand organisations in the world, both client side and rights holder, including Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Diageo and Chelsea FC. Steve has worked on partnerships and created unique partnerships with global rights holders including FIFA, UEFA, EPL, The FA, EFL, Manchester United, Liverpool FC, International Olympic Committee, Formula One, McLaren, Madonna, Sting, Elton John, David Bowie, Glastonbury Festival and many more.
In 2016 Steve invested in Apollo Branded Content Group International and subsequently became a co-managing partner developing global formats with Formula One and Hollywood superstar Will Smith before co-founding EQUITBL in 2022.