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Nike Moves Into the NFT Market

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Avatar for wholelottajuju
Written by   10
7 months ago

With Adidas taking a giant leap into the NFT hype and marking its position in the business world's trek to Web 3.0, it's about time its biggest rival does the same.

On December 13, 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT, an innovative NFT-startup with its roots in digital artifacts and collectibles for the "cool" side of the metaverse. The video above is a perfect example of what Nike and RTFKT aim to accomplish in their mutual goal.

Just like Adidas, Nike's acquisition isn't a fad. It's a strategic move with a long-term roadmap in mind.

More about RTFKT

Before we delve into Nike's strategy, let's talk a bit more about the acquired company.

Source: RTFKT Studio / Takashi Murakami

RTFKT is a new kind of business. It was built solely on the metaverse and for the metaverse itself. It's an organization that hires the best of the best to create unique avatars, sneakers, and other digital artifacts with the intention of materializing NFTs in the metaverse experience.

Basically, RTFKT has the end goal of creating cool clothes and sneakers for your 3D avatar in places like Roblox, Decentraland, and The Sandbox. It's creating utility for NFT owners by promoting an ecosystem for its avatars.

The brand has already had tremendous success with its CloneX drop back in late November. After suffering from coordinated attacks to their Discord in the first round or public sale, their second round of public sale sold out in 37 minutes!

Furthermore, after Nike's acquisition announcement, secondary sales of CloneX NFTs almost doubled! A user by the name of "Criminal" was able to mint and sell the rare CloneX avatar #4939 (shown above) for an astonishing 200 ETH.

Why Nike acquired the brand

Nike's President and CEO said in a statement:

"This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture."

By conjoining Nike's dedicated sneakerhead and fashion community with RTFKT's creator hub, the behemoth is positioning itself in the evolution of the Web as a lifestyle and community brand. But of course, this isn't far off from what it's been doing for years with its subsidiaries and leading brand.

Nike's evolution is further reinforced by Benoit Pagotto's (one of RTFKT's co-founders) take on the acquisition:

"Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse.”

What's next for Nike?

Nike's mission doesn't end there. It may have fallen off the radar, but prior to acquiring RTFKT, Nike partnered with the ever-so-popular Roblox to form NIKELAND: an experiential 3D space for Nike-lovers and fans to connect, create, and compete with and against each other.

NIKELAND includes arenas for mini-games like tag, the floor is lava, and dodgeball. However, users can create their very-own mini-games using the NIKELAND tool kit. What's more, visitors can use their external device movement and body to move in-game. All of this is executed through Roblox avatars that allow its users to show off Nike sneakers and clothing.

While the market leader continues to push the boundaries of fashion, sports, and gaming, so will its competition. Nike isn't the only blue-chip entering the metaverse. So the question is: Will its acquisition of NTFKT and its partnership with Roblox be enough to adopt the evolution of the Web?

Let me know your thoughts down below :)


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I think Nike's partnership with RTFKT is a big step in the right direction. What I am looking at now is will RTFKT be able to deliver the same free-wheeling innovation, now that they will have all the layers of bureaucracy to navigate their ideas through? They achieved insane success as a three-person startup, playing in a space with literally no rules. I know whatever the partnership drops will create hype, but I'm curious to see if it can remain a crypto-native project, or how much of the corporation's imprint will be on them moving forward.

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User's avatar oyl
7 months ago