Nike Enters the Metaverse through the Acquisition of RTFKT
The acquisition could potentially lead Nike to take a decisive step in the domain of the new era of web 3.0.
Sportswear giant Nike announced the acquisition of RTFKT Studios, the digital fashion design company that is specialised in creating digital wearables and other collectibles for the virtual worlds.
Founded in 2020, by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT is a pioneering and innovative brand that redefines the boundaries of physical and digital value to serve their broad community of creators. This dedicated team leverages the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences.
“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,” says John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. “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.”
“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.”
RTFKT made its first virtual shoe sale for 30 Ethereum in 2020, the equivalent of approximately $ 115,000. In February 2021, the studio sold out an NFT collection in just 7 minutes, generating revenues of around $ 3 million.
Recently, Nike's competitor Adidas has also announced its entry into the metaverse thanks to the collaboration with some of the most celebrated NFT projects such as gmoney, PUNKS Comic and the Bored Ape Yacht Club.