Nike continues push into metaverse with acquisition of RTFKT

Karthik Subramanian

Nike has continued its push into the metaverse as it announced that it has acquired the fashion and NFT startup RTFKT which is expected to help the company to build on its fashion appeal in the virtual world as well.

Metaverse is not new for Nike and neither is the crypto industry. It has thrown its weight behind the industry in 2019 itself when it had patented tokenized shoes and it has continued to file for several crypto and metaverse related patents over the last couple of years.

Nike Push Into Metaverse

Even last month, it had announced the launch of Nikeland which is a glimpse of what it envisions its metaverse to be. It is understood that it has already started building out a virtual world with the same design consciousness and emphasis as in the real world and its idea is to merge play and sport into a separate lifestyle.

“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,” Nike President John Donahoe said. “We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. We plan to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”

NFTs and Physical Collectibles

RTFKT has focussed on fashion and NFT and its products include an NFT and physical shoe collectible. This presents an interesting use case for the NFT world as the company pushes for the use of NFTs as collectibles by tying them up with fashion accessories in the real world. This is likely to be the point of interest for Nike as well as it would look to tie up items and NFTs in the virtual world with those in the real world as well.

It has also tried to replicate as much of its presence in the real world into the virtual world as well, including its headquarters as it continues to push on the metaverse and bet big on it. This is similar to the strategy that many of the big names, including Facebook seem to be taking as they strongly believe that the metaverse would be the next frontier and would help them to bring in a large userbase by uniting them within the metaverse.

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