Nike, an American multinational shoe and apparel manufacturer, has acquired RTFKT Studios. This startup leverages blockchain authentication and non-fungible tokens (NFT), and creates augmented reality. Nike says the acquisition will allow the company “to deliver next-generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming.”
Nike Moves into the Metaverse with Acquisition of RTFKT Studios
Nike has announced that the company had acquired digital collectibles business RTFKT Studios on 13 December. The news follows Nike’s initial steps toward the metaverse during the first week of November, and the company’s recent integration with the virtual game Roblox. The footwear firm published a blog post about “Nikeland,” a Nike-themed virtual world located in the Roblox metaverse. Following Nike’s moves into the realm of the metaverse industry and blockchain world, the company’s competitor Adidas has been racing toward NFTs and the metaverse as well.
RTFKT Studios was established by three coworkers at the start of January 2020’s Covid-19 era, according to their website. RTFKT is pronounced “artifact” and is focused on blockchain authentication, non-fungible token technology (NFT), and augmented reality. In February, RTFKT and an NFT artist dubbed “Fewocious,” sold approximately 600 pairs of physical and virtual sneaker NFTs for $3.1 million at the time of settlement. RTFKT was also responsible for Clonex NFT avatars.
Clonex NFT avatars allow you to harness them in both physical and metaverse worlds. Clonex NFTs were designed by the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami and according to reports, the avatar NFTs sold out quickly but with the sales suffering from “attacks and controversy.”
Nike President Says Acquisition Will ‘Extend Nike’s Digital Footprint and Capabilities’
John Donahoe, the president and CEO of Nike spoke about the RTFKT acquisition and the company’s steps toward the metaverse.
“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,” Donahoe said in a statement. “We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. 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.”
RTFKT now forms part of the NIKE, Inc. Family. 🌐👁🗨 pic.twitter.com/5egNk9d8wA
— RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) December 13, 2021
In early November, Nike made sure a number of well-known trademarks like the “Just Do It” tagline, its SNKRS logo, and the Air Jordan “Jumpman,” were ready to be leveraged as “downloadable virtual goods.”
“Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity, and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse,” Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders said during the acquisition announcement. Nike’s RTFKT Studios purchase press release concludes that the terms of the sale “will not be disclosed” to the public.
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Image credit: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Nike, RTFKT Studios,
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