On Monday, Nike announced that it had bought RTFKT for an undisclosed sum of money. The virtual sneaker company will give the sportswear and sneaker brand an entry to the metaverse. It is looking to expand its presence in this fast growing digital world and this latest acquisition of a company who creates virtual sneakers and collectibles, is a step forward.
Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev formed RTFKT in 2020. The company makes virtual sneakers, other non fungible token (NFT) collectibles and memes. Users who join blockchain-based environments such as metaverse buy virtual land. They also buy digital assets such as clothing for avatars and this is where crypto assets such as NFTs are used. They can now buy sneakers as well.
In November, Nike became one more giant brand to enter the shared virtual world. Some time back, Facebook rebranded itself and all its social media companies are called Meta platforms.
According to a report by Reuters, John Donahoe, who is the Chief Executive Officer at Nike, said in a statement that the acquisition was another step by Nike that had accelerated the company’s transformation. This forward looking action allowed Nike “to serve athletes” as well as “creators at the intersection of sports, creativity, gaming and culture.”
Earlier this year, the giant sneaker and apparel maker had filed seven trademark applications. These were related to its future plans of creating and selling virtual apparel and sneakers on virtual platforms.
Nike also launched “Nikeland” in partnership with Roblox, a video game platform. Nikeland is a digital world built for Nike fans. They can play games in the world. They can dress their avatars in virtual apparel that can bought through a digital showroom. Some of the products in the showroom include an Air Force 1 and a Nike blazer. Now, they will be able to add sneakers from RTFTK.
RTFKT is now a part of the NIKE, Inc. family. 🌐👁🗨 pic.twitter.com/5egNk9d8wA— RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) December 13, 2021