In 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT with intentions to expand its business in the NFT and metaverse industry.
Once the announcement came out, Nike launched Nike Virtual Studios which would build “business around virtual products while also partnering with our core business to deliver best-in-class Web3, Metaverse, and blockchain-based experiences,” said CEO John Donahoe.
He also added, “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.”
RTFKT has a long history of designing the best sneakers for the metaverse. Its high-quality design was recognized by Nike and it immediately acquired the startup to help them expand into the metaverse industry.
Nike’s metaverse and NFT adventures
Following the acquisition and the studio launch, Nike and RTFKT released a collection of metaverse wearable footwear called RTFKT x Nike Dunk Genesis CryptoKicks that was highly welcomed all around the world.
The collection featured 20,000 NFTs featuring 98 designs that sold for over $11M. One special NFT sneaker was bought for $130K alone, showing the large potential surrounding NFTs and Nike’s brand in the Web3 world.
Recently, RTFKT dropped a collection of NFT Nike sneakers, RTFKT Space Drip x Nike Air Force 1, in collaboration with 19 digital artists.
Each NFT has a “forged” mechanism, which means it could be redeemable for real-life shoes as well. “These are the first shoes to have NFC tags in them. NFCs combined with NFTs solve the issues around sneakers with authenticity, fakes, and counterfeiting, because an NFT displays who owns it and who redeemed that shoe on the blockchain,” explained Steven Vasilev, Director at NIKE.
With the success of all the NFT series released by RTFKT and Nike, the companies announced they will be releasing NFT apparel soon as well.
RTFKT x NIKE AR Hoodie
On July 15, RTFKT released a sneak peek at its upcoming metaverse/NFT in collaboration with Nike, an AR Hoodie.
The trailer posted on Twitter shows an avatar wearing a black hoodie and AR mechanical wings coming out from its back.
This is a new and unique NFT series that combines the concept of NFT and physical merch. To add more, RTFKT is giving the whole metaverse futuristic effect by creating wings on the hoodie in augmented reality space.
According to Nike, this NFT collection will be only exclusive to its NFT holders. The AR hoodie includes physical forging that will only be redeemable by the NFT holders.
The Clone X and RTFKT x Nike Dunks Genesis CryptoKicks NFT owners will be able to participate in the private mint happening on July 21, 2022.
RTFKT is a creator-led organization owned by Nike. The company uses the latest game engines, NFT, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality, combined with manufacturing expertise to create one-of-a-kind sneakers and digital artifacts exclusively designed for the metaverse.