Nike Acquires Digital Fashion, Sneaker Co. RTFKT in Latest Metaverse Move

In yet one more key move into the metaverse, NIKE, Inc. declared on Monday that it will get RTFKT, “a leading brand name that leverages reducing edge innovation to produce subsequent technology collectibles that merge culture and gaming.” Nike President and CEO John Donahoe stated in a statement that the acquisition is “another phase that accelerates Nike’s electronic transformation and lets us to provide athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and society,” and 1 that will support to “extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”

The news follows from Nike garnering prevalent attention in connection with the filing of a quantity of intent-to-use trademark applications in the U.S. and beyond for its most well known emblems – these kinds of as its “Nike,” “Just Do It,” and “Jordan” phrase marks, its legendary swoosh emblem, the Jordan silhouette brand, and a stylized blend of its title and the swoosh – for use on a variety of digital merchandise/expert services. Specifically, the applications proposed that Nike was on the lookout to use its famed marks on “downloadable virtual goods” “retail retail store companies that includes virtual goods” and “entertainment expert services, particularly, furnishing on-line, non-downloadable virtual footwear, clothes, headwear, eyewear, [and] bags,” amid other things, “for use in virtual environments.” 

Nike has because indicated its interest in the area by way teaming up with Roblox for Nikeland, a digital knowledge that enables followers of the sportswear huge to “connect, generate, share encounters, contend,” and, of program, shop, in a nod to the worth of the metaverse as a burgeoning prospect for manufacturers ranging from sportswear titans to luxurious merchandise purveyors.

In a launch on November 18, Nike stated, “There’s a new location on Roblox for Nike followers to connect, make, share ordeals and compete: NIKELAND. Nike designed this bespoke planet with the backdrop of its environment headquarters and within Roblox’s immersive 3D house, developing on its goal to switch activity and enjoy into a lifestyle.” In addition to connecting and competing, lovers can also store in Nikeland, with the electronic expertise enabling users to “gear up in classics like the Air Power 1 and Nike Blazer and in new drops like the Air Power 1 Fontanka and the Air Max 2021,” of which can be identified in the digital showroom, “along with a host of other Nike apparel staples like ACG and Nike Tech Pack.”

Pretty much two-12 months old RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”), which was launched by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, has equally created headlines in the digital house, offering 621 pairs of electronic sneakers that it developed along with artist Fewocious, and netting $3.1 million in gross sales in a make a difference of minutes for them in March.

Additional just lately, the London-centered firm, which Nike phone calls “a revolutionary and progressive manufacturer that redefines the boundaries of actual physical and electronic value to serve their broad local community of creators,” uncovered that it had lifted $8 million in a spherical led by venture money organization Andreessen Horowitz, and that includes Riot Game titles co-founder Marc Merrill, Behance co-founder Scott Belsky, artist Fewocious, and previous LVMH Main Digital Officer Ian Rogers, between other individuals, in furtherance of its quest to “empower the foreseeable future of vogue.” The round, which shut in May, valued the company at $33.3 million.

The phrases of the deal in between RTFKT and Nike have not been disclosed.