- Nike Inc. has released the latest digital shoe.
- Joining the NIKE, Inc. family are the foremost developers of virtual footwear, collectibles, and experiences born in the metaverse.
RTFKT— a firm created in January 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev, who characterized their start-up as “born on the blockchain” and best known for its “Metaverse-ready sneakers and collectibles”— was bought by the sneaker giant.
The three said they grew up playing Minecraft, watching Star Wars, and collecting Pokemon cards before going on to design luxury boutiques, participate in esports, and create logos for hip hop musicians in a post on their website in May.
They created RTFKT to “construct the future of fashion and collectibles” by combining their “geek hobbies and our professional expertise,” and they made a splash.
In less than seven minutes, RTFKT’s partnership with 18-year-old artist Fewocious sold over $3 million in digital sneakers.
RTFKT was doing enough right to catch Nike’s notice, but not enough to really topple the sportswear giant, which had revenues of $44.5 billion last year.
“This acquisition is another move that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the nexus of sport, art, gaming, and culture,” said John Donahoe, president, and chief executive officer of Nike Inc. We’re purchasing a great group of creators with a genuine and well-known brand. Our strategy is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and build the RTFKT community, and expand Nike’s digital reach and capabilities.”
RTFKT, according to Nike, “makes use of the most cutting-edge gaming engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality to create one-of-a-kind virtual products and experiences.”
Nike has been stepping up its digital game recently, introducing Nike LeBron 19 designs in Fortnite, for example.
It’s now ready for more.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to expand the RTFKT brand, and we are pleased to benefit from Nike’s underlying strength and expertise to build the communities we love,” Pagotto said. Nike is the only company in the world that shares our strong love for innovation, creativity, and community, and we’re pleased to expand our metaverse-born brand.”
Many tech innovations that promised to be the next big thing have been largely ignored, downplayed, or given mere lip service by the fashion industry in recent years, resulting in missed chances in e-commerce, social networking, and other areas.
The industry, on the other hand, appears to want to fix this and is poised to pounce on the metaverse, taking seriously the burgeoning sales of digital style and investing heavily even while the bigger scene grows.
Nike also pulls in some local talent with their new contract.
The founders stated, “RTFKT is born on the blockchain to verify authenticity, ownership, and offer access to new experiences.” “We believe blockchain technology has the potential to enable artists to lead, cooperate, and create without boundaries.” NFTs are a game-changing media that will usher in a new era of collaboration between creativity and commerce.
“We believe communities can move the globe and turn the old guard on its head when they organize and demand influence,” they stated.
NIKE’s digital transformation will be hastened as a result of this acquisition.