Already the world’s largest footwear company, Nike has just bought a new brand. This one does not exist in physical reality, however.
On Monday, December 13, Nike Inc. announced the acquisition of virtual sneaker designer and collection designer RTFKT. After opening Nikeland on Roblox just two weeks ago, this is the clothing giant’s second major move establishing its presence in the Metaverse. The goal of the RTFKT acquisition is to give Nike a digital advantage with “a leading brand that leverages cutting-edge innovation to deliver next-generation collectibles that merge culture and play,” according to a statement. on Nike.com.
“This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and enables us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, games and culture,” said the president and chief executive officer of Nike, Inc. executive John Donahoe, in a statement.
This digital makeover is Nike’s effort to enter the Web3 era, an upcoming internet iteration that seeks to take control of platforms like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter and replace those masters of the digital universe with social networks, search engines and user-controlled markets. Roblox, for example, allows users to schedule games and play games created by other users. By purchasing RTFKT, Nike aims to make a mark in the new Web3 world.
âWe are recruiting a very talented team of designers with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and expand Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities, âsaid Donahoe.
Founded in 2019, RTFKT exploded during the NFT boom of 2021. TVN, or ânon-fungible tokens,â allow users to buy and sell unique digital items tracked through the blockchain. NFTs can include any digital object: clothing, designs, animated GIFs, songs, or video game collectibles. NFTs are generally rare, whether unique or rare, with owners verified by blockchain. Brand essence Market research has cited 328% growth in NFT transactions in the first half and third quarter of 2021. The main players behind this expansion are Microsoft, Home Depot, Tesla, Whole Foods and Starbucks.
In February, RTFKT released several collaborative virtual sneaker designs with online artist Fewocious. Six hundred pairs sold in seven minutes, grossing $ 3.1 million. In March, RTFKT partnered with Atari on a limited edition virtual sneaker on the theme of Atari. And in November, RTFKT partnered with digital artist Takashi Murakami to sell 20,000 3D avatars as part of its CloneX NFT fashion collection. Now Nike is in the action.
The addition of RTFKT to its portfolio opens up a whole new source of revenue and a whole new market for the sportswear giant. There is no indication of a philosophical change at RTFKT imposed by Nike. The plan is to continue to inspire users to use Metamask wallets (secure crypto-vaults that enable blockchain-verified exchanges) to purchase NFT sneakers, designed by visionaries RTFKT and Nike, which will appear in worlds and games. virtual. For RTFKT, the company is delighted to now be funded by one of the big guys.
âThis is a unique opportunity to grow the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s fundamental strength and expertise to create the communities we love,â said RTFKT co-founder Benoit Pagotto , in a press release. declaration. âNike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community.
Read more: Nike and Adidas make forays into the metaverse