Nike

Nike Buys Metaverse Brand RTFKT, in Preparation to Go Digital

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Dec. 21 2021, Updated 12:15 p.m. ET

Nike has entered the Metaverse. The popular shoe company has purchased digital design company RTFKT in its newest bid to launch digitally. While users can’t put physical shoes on their feet in the Metaverse, the opportunity to deck out your virtual avatar in your favorite shoe brand is a compelling one, and it’s an opportunity that Nike is banking on. Companies are scrambling to get ahead of the Metaverse so they’re already ready and waiting when it starts to take shape; the purchase of RTFKT is just the newest step in that direction.

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Nike Buys RTFKT

Nike

Nike purchased Metaverse company RTFKT, a digital start-up that will help them ramp up their production of virtual wearables. In return, Nike hopes to provide the growing company with an opportunity to expand into the Metaverse – a virtual world that uses a combination of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to allow users to interact digitally. It’s like Roblox, but more personalized and interactive. The Metaverse is a concept that has captivated corporations across the globe, although it’s still somewhat of a nebulous concept. Like the early days of the internet, it started out on disparate and isolated platforms; a console here with a VR world, a game here with an AR component. But the hope is that these platforms will come together to create something very much like the internet that stretches from platform to platform with everything in between, allowing users to access an endless variety of experiences and services through the Metaverse.

Nike’s foray into the Metaverse is an opportunity for the to get set up and waiting for customers to come to them. As people begin to trickle into Metaverse worlds, there will already be an option waiting for them to put their favorite kicks on their avatars – a lucrative business companies like Roblox have found a way to capitalize on. For a small real-world or cryptocurrency purchase, users can don some merchandise from their favorite brands that will include Nike in the Metaverse. 

CryptoBriefing writes, “Nike’s entry into the Metaverse is having a big impact on RTFKT NFT prices.

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The sportswear behemoth announced it had bought RTFKT in an undisclosed deal Monday, adding to a small acquisition portfolio that also includes Air Jordan and Converse. Since the announcement, the prices for RTFKT’s top items have rallied.”

RTFKT

Nike

And although it’s a growing company, RTFKT already has an impressive portfolio under their belts. 

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CryptoBriefing adds, “RTFKT recently dropped a collection of Clone X Mint Vial NFTs, which can be used to mint a Clone X—an avatar character created by RTFKT and Takashi Murakami. One Mint Vial traded at 3.8 Ethereum throughout last week, but prices have quickly risen since Nike dropped its announcement. The cheapest Mint Vials are currently selling for just over 11 Ethereum on the NFT marketplace OpenSea, or around $41,000. The Clone X Mint Vials are currently the second most traded OpenSea collection with over 13,300 ETH in volume.

The Clone X NFT collection, which features the avatars themselves rather than a mint pass to get hold of an avatar, is also trading at a premium. Clone X is currently the most traded OpenSea collection by some distance with over 32,100 ETH in volume, and the current floor price for a piece is 4.8 Ethereum, or just under $18,000. The average sale price, meanwhile, has increased to 10.2 Ethereum today. Some rarer pieces have sold for significantly higher than the floor price this week: one piece went for 288 Ethereum worth over $1 million yesterday, and several others have sold for 100 Ethereum or more.”

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Into Nikeland, the Metaverse, and Beyond

Metaverse

Nike already has taken some moves in the virtual world, partnering with Roblox for Nikeland. Nikeland is a bespoke world against the backdrop of Nike’s headquarters in Roblox’s immersive 3D world, all with the aim of furthering their goal to turn sport and play into a lifestyle.

The Nikeland launch announcement explains, “Buildings and fields inside NIKELAND are inspired by Nike’s real-life headquarters and hold detailed arenas for the Roblox community to test their skills competing in various mini-games. At launch, visitors can participate in games such as tag, the floor is lava, and dodgeball with their friends. The creativity, however, is unlimited. With the NIKELAND tool kit, creators can easily design their own mini-games from interactive sports materials. Dream it. Make it. Play it.”

This experience with a virtual world sets Nike up to be well-poised to move into the Metaverse as it begins to take shape. For now, the Metaverse is still a concept and a collection of isolated platforms that hope to bridge the gaps and come together to create an entire parallel digital world for users to interact and play with. 

Maybe you’ll log on and attend business meetings in a virtual reality world, or go on dates at an AR cafe. Maybe you’ll play tabletop games with friends using VR goggles, or play sports with people around the world from your own home. Now, you can do it all with Nikes on your feet. 

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