Nike Acquires Virtual Sneaker Firm RTFKT in Metaverse Push

Nike Inc. announced on Monday that it had bought virtual shoe and collectibles company RTFKT as the sportswear giant looks to expand into the “metaverse”.

Along with other big brands, Nike last month had entered the metaverse, a virtual world which gained prominence after Facebook recently rebranded itself to Meta Platforms.

In the metaverse, users can buy digital assets such as virtual land and clothing for avatars using a cryptocurrency asset called non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

“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,” said Nike CEO John Donahoe in a statement.

RTFKT, a startup formed in 2020, creates blockchain-based digital sneakers and artifacts. Nike said in its announcement that RTFKT “leverages the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences.”

The startup had earlier claimed that in February, a collaboration with artist FEWOCiOUS to sell real sneakers paired with virtual ones managed sell around 600 pairs in 7 minutes and made $3.1 Million.

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