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Nike Takes A Major Step Into The Metaverse


By Billy Houghton

Virtual interactions are going tangible at a furious pace.

The biggest issue at play in the metaverse last month was StockX’s debut of the Vault NFTs concept. This project was developed around combining physical products and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

This collection houses various items, including Omega Bioceramic Moonswatch Mission watches, as well as a Travis Scott Cactus Jack Fortnite 12″ Action Figure Duo Set and a 1999 Pokemon TCG Base Set.

The Vault brings them together and fuses a digital token, which its users can trade with one another, to secure actual, physical shoes.

StockX’s The Vault fuses a digital token, which its users can trade with one another, to secure actual, physical shoes.  (StockX)

Now, users of the platform can buy NFTs supported by Nike, a sportswear company many consider the gold-standard of physical sneakers in the real world.

Nike is releasing this new project backed by a real pair of shoes.

Nike created its shoe — dubbed the Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks — in conjunction with RTFKT, a company it acquired in December 2021. RTFKT, pronounced “artifact,” is a non-fungible token (NFT) studio. It describes itself as “a leading brand that leverages cutting edge innovation to deliver next generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming.”

“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,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO of NIKE, Inc. in a press release announcing the buy.

“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,” said John Donahoe, Nike CEO. (Nike.com)

“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,” he said

RTFKT’s creators are also enthusiastic about prospects for the merged companies.

“This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand, and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love,” says Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders.

“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,” he said.

Along with Nike, several other companies took the initiative and developed their own wearables and NFTs. This sparked an international competition for which could devise the coolest drip for avatars.

This competition has expanded beyond shoes and fashion. It is now more about innovation and becoming the next company to find new and interesting ways to gain more brand recognition.

Produced in association with MetaNews.

Edited by Fern Siegel and Matthew B. Hall

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