Cordell Broadus (Champ Medici) on brands giving away power in the metaverse

Cordell Broadus (Champ Medici) on brands giving away power in the metaverse

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Crypto and NFT enthusiasts might have heard of the Bored Ape NFT named Champ Medici. Owned by Cordell Broadus (pictured), a crypto entrepreneur and investor and Snoop Dogg's son, Champ Medici made waves in Asia this year when it partnered with Asia-based influencer marketing agency Gushcloud International to explore opportunities in music, gaming, and consumer products. Broadus and Gushcloud even launched The Champ Medici Lounge, a Web3-focused five-day event during the Singapore F1 Grand Prix which featured a huge inflatable art installation at Somerset Youth Park.

Broadus' journey into the world of crypto didn't happen by chance. In fact, he was first introduced to it in 2017 and while he had the urge to dive into digital tokens, the young entrepreneur decided to take his time. However, the crypto market crash in 2018 caught his attention and that eventually piqued his interest in the crypto world.

"After I saw the hype disappear and when the crash happened, I knew it was going to be even bigger when it returned," Broadus told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE during a recent chat on the first day of Digital Marketing Asia 2022. "Not just cryptocurrency in general, but just all the creativity surrounding cryptocurrency and the utility it has to offer. So it really sparked my interest because I was always into technology. I was one of the first people to show my father Instagram and he was one of the first celebrities on the app," Broadus added.

He also remembers being the first kid in his high school to use Instagram and getting everyone to download it. And Broadus wasn't even thinking of getting profile shares or likes. "Now we have a new age where young creatives and entrepreneurs are thinking of being a talent and pushing across a message for these giants. So it's a more decentralised ecosystem that we are creating where everybody can reap the benefits," Broadus explained.

The terms Web3, crypto, and NFT have become popular in recent times and some companies are also setting up Web3 functions internally to better understand how they can capitalise on this emerging opportunity. For the uninitiated, however, Web3 might seem like an intimidating space and the whole idea of decentralisation, blockchain technologies, as well as token-based economies, can be a lot to take in.

Broadus views intimidation as part of the human cycle. Citing the Internet, iPhones and iPads as examples, Broadus said that when they were first created, "everyone made fun of it and were intimidated in the early stages".

"When you look at the past trends in the past cycles, you see who became the billionaires and what companies are here embedded in our brains and our daily lifestyles," he said.

"There's going to be a next Web3 in two to 15 years. Where am I gonna be at in a conversation? Am I just gonna be a user? Or am I actually want to have some sweat equity or a piece of these giant companies that are born in creative through times like this?" Broadus added.

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How did Champ Medici come about?

Champ Medici is Broadus' alter ego in the Web3 space and was created based on things the young entrepreneur wanted to see, such as hip hop, culture and having more influencers compete with one another. Champ Medici is one of the 10,000 Bored Ape NFTs within the Bored Ape Yacht Club created by Yuga Labs and Broadus decided to purchase it, along with the NFT rights.

Broadus' NFT has since entered into several collaborations with brands in various spaces from cannabis and F&B to gaming. Earlier this year, Broadus' father Snoop Dogg partnered with the metaverse game MOBLAND to bring digital cannabis into the metaverse. As part of this, the digital weed lands and business buildings offering also features NFT content from Champ Medici. A few months later, both father and son became partners in the world's first NFT restaurant group, Food Fighters Universe. "A lot of these companies want to get into Web3 but they want to do it in an authentic way," he said. 

Of course, while it is easy for brands to jump on the Web3 hype, especially when it comes to NFTs, Broadus said one way to prevent these investments from being one-off or a gimmick is to have a business roadmap and "take it as far as [the brand] wants". In his opinion, it should not be a "pump and dump" initiative.

At the same time, the NFT space is also getting crowded since so many brands are expanding into this space nowadays. Broadus' solution? Collaborate. "Sometimes it's about giving away the power. It's not always about yourself and the brand should take on the journey of who it can collaborate with and who can uplift the platform in a space that the brand does not know much about. I think it's generous and it comes off as authentic. It also shows that this isn't just about the giants [getting richer], it's about the community," he added.

Nonetheless, as exciting as the Web3 space seems, lawsuits have also emerged in this scene, particularly for NFTs. Herm├Ęs, for example, sued US digital creator Mason Rothschild and his digital art project, MetaBirkins, earlier this year, accusing him of trying to profit from the brand's trademarks. When asked how brands and artists themselves can safeguard their integrity when operating in the Web3 space, Broadus said one needs to be wary of everything.

"Just as much as we are talking about how much money these artists and NFT brands are making, we need to talk about who is going to regulate this space, who's going to help us keep it within fine lines and within the laws for us to follow," he explained.

Citing streaming as an example, Broadus said when it first emerged, nobody knew what to do and then came a new set of laws that allowed artists to make money directly. Hence, the same securities need to be brought forward into the Web3 space so consumers do not have to worry if they are being scammed or sued. Broadus called Web3 the "wild wild west" because it is still in the infancy stage and individuals need to stay updated by watching the news and listening to credible sources.

Digital Marketing Asia is back for its 10th year! 10 years of exclusive insights, experience sharing and great success stories. Join us for three days of hyper-focused presentation topics across six tracks on 15 - 17 November. Click here to register now!

Related articles:
Gushcloud makes Web3 move signing on Champ Medici owned by Snoop Dogg's son Cordell Broadus
Gushcloud and Snoop Dogg's son Cordell Broadus unveils giant inflatable art in SG
HK star Stephen Chow launches Instagram account to recruit Web3 talent
The Sandbox welcomes Softstar to its Web3 ecosystem
Lion & Lion names creative and digital experience lead as it eyes Web3
#ExplainIt: What Web3 means for marketers [Video]

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