NFTs with an iconic swoosh? Sneakers for your avatar? Nike is officially embracing the metaverse as a revenue channel, announcing on Tuesday it acquired RTFKT, a virtual sneaker sneaker and fashion platform that leverages cutting edge innovation to deliver next generation collectibles merging culture and gaming.
“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.”
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 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.”
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.