As of Monday, Nike has acquired RTFKT Studios (pronounced artefact). Though the terms of the deal have not been made available yet. RTFKT Studios is a digital studio that creates shoes for the Metaverse. With their acquisition, Nike is stepping into the NFT market. The move will lead to a better creation of collectables for the Metaverse. Nike President and CEO John Donahoe mentioned the acquisition of a talented team of NFT creators with an authentic and connected brand, in a statement. https://twitter.com/benitopagotto/status/1470502828917641227?s=20 He also outlined the plan for the business venture – to invest in the RTFKT brand, and grow the innovative and creative community and ultimately, extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.
What is RTFKT?
RTFKT was founded by Steven Vasilev, Chris Le, and Benoit Pagotto in January 2020. In a short span of time, they have managed to collaborate with the likes of Lexus, Takashi Murakami and Jeff Staple. RTFKT makes virtual sneaker offerings and not tangible products that you can buy physically. They collaborated with renowned NFT artist Fewocious earlier this year and sold $3.1 million worth of NFTs in 7 minutes. https://twitter.com/RTFKTstudios/status/1470502799498792963?s=20 Nike has been trying to cut down on imitators in real life. But, it is worth noting that they have ended up buying and not suing a company whose NFT designs are mostly based on their products. Some of the NFT designs made by RTFKT are clearly based on Air Force 1s or Air Jordan 1s; and using these designs, they have made millions of dollars worth of revenue in just under two years.
How Will The Business Relationship Between The Two Brands Evolve?
RTFKT have established their brand in fashion over the last two years and have even sold their NFTs for as high as $10,000 apiece. With the backing of an industry giant like Nike, they will now have the opportunity to make virtual sneakers from the biggest brand in the world. On the other hand, Nike now has an established brand in the Metaverse, which will help them grow their reach massively.
Brand Wars In The Metaverse
A few weeks ago, Adidas also entered the Metaverse. They announced a partnership with the Bored Ape Yacht Club. The details surrounding the partnership’s offerings are still vague. But as soon as a release date is announced, we can be sure that there will be strong competition between the two brands for supremacy in the Metaverse. Nike has also announced their partnership with Roblox to build the “Nikeland“. Here, users can dress their video game avatars in Nike, Converse and Jordan apparel. These games will be based on the accelerometer reading of cell phones. They will also require the player to step outside and move around in real life to be able to play. Now, the wait is for Bored Ape Yacht Club and Adidas offerings to be released. Once they are on the market, we will be in the midst of a power struggle between the brands. And in due course, it will be interesting to see how things play out for both sneaker giants.