Virtual sports park is not enough, Nike plans to make meta-universe shoes

After constructing Nikeland , a virtual sports park on Roblox, Nike recently acquired RTFKT Studios, a virtual sports shoe brand, to go one step further towards Metaverse.

In the official announcement, Nike put the RTFKT lightning logo together with its own representative Swoosh, Jumpman and Converse logos. The latter three represent high-level sports, unique designs and street culture in the real world, while RTFKT is a Very young digital fashion brand.

RTFKT was established by the three founders in January 2020. It has been based on Metaverse from the beginning, using the latest game engine, NFT, blockchain identity verification and augmented reality technologies, combined with manufacturing expertise to design virtual sneakers and As an exclusive collection cast by NFT.

Shopping at RTFKT requires payment in Ethereum cryptocurrency. Currently, Bitski and Metamask wallets are supported. "We use blockchain as a technology to help track what you have in the virtual world."

▲ Founding team.

Previously, RTFKT's team has been working behind the scenes, providing design and concepts for game companies and fashion brands. They chose to establish a physical company in 2020 because they felt it was time:

The RTFKT project was originally scheduled to start in 2040, but human consciousness is developing faster than expected, and we are here to accelerate our digital future.

The little-known RTFKT, the initial enthusiasm comes from Musk.

At the beginning of 2020, a photo of Musk attending a dinner circulated on Instagram. In the picture, he wore a pair of sneakers inspired by Tesla Cybertruck, attracting a large number of fans to inquire. But Musk did not wear these shoes at the scene. RTFKT helped him get up. Musk became the first person to "own" virtual sneakers.

Facts have proved that RTFKT has found the right person. This pair of virtual sneakers was sold at a price of 15,000 US dollars at the time, and it successfully attracted a lot of attention.

In February of this year, RTFKT collaborated with 18-year-old crypto artist Fewocious to launch three NFT sneakers, priced at US$3,000, US$5,000, and US$10,000. A total of 621 pairs of shoes were quickly sold out within 7 minutes of being on the shelves, and the revenue exceeded 3.1 million. US dollars . This astonishing number brought the NFT fashion into flames in the early spring of the meta universe.

In May of this year, RTFKT received $8 million in seed round financing, led by venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz, with a valuation of $33.3 million; in the same month, RTFKT and streetwear designer Jeff Staple launched the latter's first NFT series.

▲ RTFKT × Jeff Staple.

Recently, RTFKT and artist Murakami Takashi collaborated on an NFT project called "CLONE X". A total of 20,000 avatars were pre-sold and publicly sold. Buyers can use it for NFT games, AR filters, Zoom conferences, and Metaverse platforms in the future. Wait. According to the statistics of crypto tracker CryptoSlam , the transaction volume of the project has been close to 65 million U.S. dollars.


In addition to building its own NFT project, RTFKT also collaborated with other cryptocurrency creators to design some items, including the most well-known CryptoPunks and Bored Apes .

At a time when the popularity of digital fashion is not diminishing, RTFKT held two "forging" events-making digital sneakers into real objects. The rule is "1 NFT = 1 Physical", users must first purchase NFT at RTFKT, and then receive physical items within 8-12 weeks after the forging event.

In view of this, RTFKT’s goal is to "let RTFKT's digital assets appear in everything in virtual and real life", first selling virtual concepts and avant-garde designs, and then building physical products, repeatedly jumping between the virtual and physical worlds , It also gives a new way of frying shoes and expressing fashion.

Regarding this acquisition, Nike CEO John Donahoe said:

This acquisition is another step in accelerating Nike's digital transformation, enabling us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sports, creativity, games and culture. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and develop their innovation and creative communities, and expand Nike's digital footprint and capabilities.

▲ Nikeland.

When Nike launched the virtual world Nikeland, Ai Faner once wrote that Nike's recent digital actions include the submission of 7 trademark applications and the recruitment of digital product creation teams. Nikeland, based on Roblox, is also a platform for Nike to display virtual products and observe the preferences of young users.

But Roblox attracts far more fashion and apparel brands than Nike alone. Therefore, the acquisition of RTFKT should be a performance of Nike's attempt to overtake. At present, there are not many choices of NFT sports shoes and digital fashion. RTFKT happens to be at the forefront of this field. I don’t know where Meta Universe is, and once the giants are involved in this competition, they cannot tolerate being left behind.

Grapes are not the only fruit.

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Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo