Nike buys digital sneaker firm with eye to metaverse

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Nike Inc. announced it has bought digital sneaker firm RTFKT as the sportswear company looks to build up its presence in the metaverse. 

In the quickly expanding virtual-reality space, participating users can purchase digital assets such as clothing or land through a cryptocurrency asset called a non-fungible token (NFT), according to CNN

Nike first entered the metaverse last month, becoming one of the first major brands to do so, CNN reported. 

“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,” Nike President and CEO John Donahoe said in a statement

“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,” he added.

RTFKT, founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, has become known for its sought-after digital sneaker designs. It also produces other virtual objects and experiences for the metaverse using NFTs and blockchain authentication, among other tools.

“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,” RTFKT co-founder Benoit Pagotto said in the statement.

“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,” he continued.

The term of the agreement was not disclosed, according to the statement.

Tags Metaverse NFTs Nike non-fungible tokens RTFKT

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