The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Online Event/Activation


Complex Networks champions the people, brands and new trends you need to know now (and will obsess over next), and builds consumer universes around them. It is what a modern entertainment company looks like and what others have followed since 2002—from pop culture and style (Complex), food entertainment (First We Feast), music discovery (Pigeons & Planes), sneaker news (Sole Collector) to its festival of cultural convergence (ComplexCon).

To reach their global audiences and engage ComplexCon fans during the pandemic, Complex Networks created the inaugural ComplexLand, a free, weeklong virtual universe featuring exclusive drops from coveted brands, an expansive shopping experience, musical performances, food delivery, celebrity panel discussions and screenings—all presented in ways never seen before.

Inspired by today’s rapidly growing intersection of gaming and street culture, ComplexLand brought the Complex Networks universe to life without the limitations of geography, space, time or device. From December 7-11, 2020, ComplexLand virtually tapped into the passion points that fuel Complex Networks’ audience: community, culture and commerce. The experience was programmed daily and accessible globally via mobile and desktop at

Strategy and Execution

In partnership with design and experience agency Jam3, the first ComplexLand was a WebGL-powered, commerce-enabled, three-dimensional theme park available on any desktop or mobile web-enabled device globally, with no app or headset required. Fans explored different hubs of the sprawling universe as a customizable avatar, while shopping their favorite retailers and food vendors, interacting with Complex Networks brands and talent, enjoying musical performances and inspiring discussions, and unlocking surprise content and limited drops through challenges along the way. 

ComplexLand’s expertly curated galleria featured popular streetwear and luxury brands including Versace, Gucci, adidas, Atmos, BBC, Psychworld, Rhude, TokiDoki, Verdy and more. Versace’s Chief Creative Officer Donatella Versace made her first-ever virtual appearance, where she unlocked the limited-edition “Trigreca” sneakers (first debuted at ComplexLand) for attendees to purchase.

Sponsor brands also activated within the world, including Head & Shoulders, the CW, Adobe and SHOWTIME. Head & Shoulders sponsored the customizable avatars’ hairstyles, and the CW sponsored the soundtrack player throughout the duration of the event. The Adobe Creativity Space housed the When I See Black exhibit, a dynamic showcase highlighting five up-and-coming Black artists. The experience built on Complex Networks and Adobe's ongoing commitment to creating opportunities for BIPOC to share their stories with the world.

The SHOWTIME Theater was the backdrop for an eclectic slate of musical performances (Jaden, Jack Harlow and Blxst), topical conversations on Esports (T-Pain, Nate Robinson, Keisha Howard and Josh Hart), a Sneaker of the Year debate (Joe La Puma, Lil Yachty, Fat Joe, Sue Bird and Conceited) and much more. SHOWTIME hosts Desus Nice and The Kid Mero joined for a fireside chat, and the theater also featured appearances from cast members of the network’s hit series “The Chi'' and “Shameless.”

The event was promoted across Complex Networks’ dynamic portfolio of brands via social media, editorial, video and more, and fans engaged throughout the week using the custom hashtag #ComplexLand.


Complex Networks recognized a void in the marketplace, and ComplexLand not only solved for the inability to host physical events but also streamlined commerce and entertainment into a single virtual experience that had not existed prior.

The event reported 3.2 million minutes of time spent, 1.3 million brand and commerce engagements and over 9 million total engagements from attendees across the five-day experience.

Consumer and brand sentiment for ComplexLand was extremely positive, and the event garnered trade press coverage for its innovation. As a result, Complex Networks is set to host a second iteration of the event in 2021.


Video for ComplexLand

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Complex Networks, Jam3