NIKE moves into the metaverse with RTFKT acquisition
the latest news from the metaverse comes from sportswear giant NIKE and its recent acquisition of virtual sneaker designer RTFKT (pronounced ‘artifact’). no details of the deal have been disclosed but it likely signals NIKE’s next step in creating NFTs and other digital assets. the brand already holds a patent for blockchain-enabled digital shoes, filed in 2019.
NIKE president and CEO john donahoe said about the investment,‘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. 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.’
RTFKT x atari sneaker
images courtesy of RTFKT
founded in 2020 by benoit pagotto, chris le and steven vasilev, RTFKT is already making waves with a recent collaboration with takashi murakami on a series of virtual avatars. the digital brand also teamed up with crypto artist FEWOCiOUS on a collection of 600 NFT sneakers that sold for $3.1 million USD.
RTFKT co-founder benoit pagotto said about joining the NIKE family,‘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. 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.’
one of the virtual avatars from RTFKT’s ‘CLONE X’ collaboration with takashi murakami