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Nike Gains in Metaverse Race with NFT Studio Deal

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This week, global sports clothing brand Nike announced it had acquired Los Angeles-based studio RTFKT for a undisclosed sum, although reports in May show RTFKT secured $8 million USD in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.

The partnership will enable the two companies to deliver high-quality 3D NFTs to “take the Metaverse to a new frontier” and enhance the fashion industry with unique blockchain-secured digital goods, a statement on social media read.

In an additional statement on Nike’s website, Benoit Pagotto, Co-Founder of RTFKT, commented on the acquisition, adding,

“Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community”

RTFKT secured a number of fruitful partnerships with influential brands to deliver high-quality NFT collectibles from 2020 to 2021, which incorporates Epic Games ‘Unreal Engine’ to create state-of-the-art eCommerce NFTs for global firms and celebrities.

RTFKT also partnered with the Major League Baseball (MLB) Association and Candy Digital in July to auction a bespoke ‘Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 World Series Champions Ring NFT,’ with all proceeds going to the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF).

Additionally, the NFT studio teamed up with influential eCommerce brands such as ‘CryptoPunks’ and ‘Highsnobiety’ to sell luxury digital goods.

Enter the ‘Nikeverse’

The news comes after Nike partnered with online gaming platform Roblox to debut NIKELAND, a Metaverse platform hosting interactive product showrooms and play areas with augmented reality (AR) games such as tag, dodgeball, and ‘the floor is lava.’

Nike launched the platform with Roblox to boost exercise among kids and decrease accessibility barriers by deploying at-home AR experiences.

Roblox also enhanced NIKELAND’s immersive experience in November for an event at Nike’s House of Innovation (HOI) in New York City, where in one experience, the floor transformed into a portal that teleported attendees to an interactive AR environment powered by Snapchat.

Additional reports in October found the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted Nike trademarks for numerous brands logos and promotional images, allowing Nike to secure key brand identifiers such as the Air Jordan’s logo to create NFTS, 3D renders, and digital twins, among others.

 

 

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