In December 2021, Nike announced the acquisition of RTFKT Studios, an organization that uses the latest Web3 technology to create one-of-a-kind sneakers and digital artifacts. In the official press release, John Donahoe, President and CEO of Nike, Inc. said “Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”
Because the terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, many were left wondering what specifically Nike had in store for RTFKT. Some industry experts predicted that these “digital capabilities” referenced Nike’s plans to stay ahead in the digital goods market that will likely flourish alongside the metaverse.
Now, more details have come to light thanks to a tweet from RTFKT’s Chief Technical Officer, Samuel Cardillo. Twitter user @NFTask asked Cardillo about the company’s plans for creating their own metaverse on multi-metaverse platform NFT Worlds, he responded, “we have one already, its just not public yet.”
Nike enters Web3
So what does this all mean? Well, it looks like RTFKT Studios is helping Nike introduce their branding into the metaverse. Although there hasn’t been a formal announcement, Cardillo’s tweet confirms RTFKT is building on NFT Worlds, a decentralized play-to-earn platform where users create their own metaverse experiences. Twitter user @SuperUnsexy further corroborates the news with the discovery of Nike’s signature “swoosh” logo on a NFT Worlds Genesis Avatar.
This checks out, as back in October 2021, Nike filed a trademark application for the logo to be used on “downloadable virtual goods” such as “computer programs featuring digital footwear,” as well as clothes, bags, sports equipment, art, toys and more “for use online and in online virtual worlds.”
As of May 2022 Nike has a market cap of over $170 billion and it is currently ranked as the biggest sports brand in the world. Considering that the total market valuation of the metaverse will grow from its current $63.8 billion to about $1,527.55 billion by 2029, embracing Web3 is vital for companies to stay relevant and profitable— even Nike.
As the metaverse takes shape, the demand for wearables, and other collectibles necessary to customize our avatar counterparts will also increase. And just like in real life, some of us will reach for our Nikes.