On Monday, Nike, the athletic footwear giant, announced its new web3 platform . Swoosh, a move intended to build a community around its NFTs and digital wearables and also strengthen its presence in the web3 space.
According to Nike. Swoosh will be a source for education in web3 and aims to allow users to learn, collect, and trade digital collectibles like virtual jerseys, sneakers, and assets that they could wear and flex in video games and other immersive worlds.
The project is labeled “the home to Nike’s virtual creations” and will be minted on Polygon, a layer2 scaling solution that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform will allow users to create digital collections from which they can earn royalties. And ownership of digital collectibles unlocks real-world perks such as exclusive physical products or one-on-one conversations with professional athletes and designers.
The company intends to sell each pair of digital sneakers for less than $50. In line with the press release, the project aims “to expand the definition of sports – and serve its future- by democratizing the web3 experience so that everyone can create, collect, and own a piece of this new digital world. The project will offer an all-inclusive, equitable place for creators, athletes, collectors, and consumers to design and own the future of sports.”
This is an attempt by the company to limit the skepticism surrounding the need to own digital sneakers among non-crypto Nike fans. And as Faris shared with Fast Company, “We’re not just targeting web3 natives, we’re targeting a more web3 curious audience, people afraid to buy NFTs because it’s too hard or confusing.”
While Swoosh is still in beta testing mode, the platform intends to be simple to use and will serve as “a place where our community can join in and co-create the future,” said Ron Faris, GM of Nike Virtual studios.
Users will be allowed to sign up on the platform from Friday, 18 November, and the company plans to let users into the platform gradually through the end of the year in anticipation of its launch in 2023. Meanwhile, Nike intends to grow the forum by inviting an equitable and diverse community, with its first digital collection to be debuted in 2023. After the first debut, members will be allowed to participate in a community challenge to win an opportunity to co-create with the brand.
A Winning Brand
Nike has continued to position itself as an industry player in the web3 ecosystem. The company first secured the patent for Cryptokicks, blockchain-powered sneakers, in 2019. Afterwhich, the company filed seven more trademark applications for some of its brand properties, including the “Nike,” “Air Jordan,” “Jumpman” logo, and the company’s famous slogan “Just do it” in 2021.
A few days later, the company partnered with Roblox, an online gaming platform, to create Nikeland, and within five months, Nikeland saw an influx of over seven million visitors.
One of Nike’s most significant moves in the space was the acquisition of RTFKT, an NFT-based startup, in December 2021. Upon purchase, Nike and RTFKT launched Ethereum-based NFT sneakers, “CryptoKicks,” in April this year.
With over $185,000 in total NFT revenue, Nike landed the top spot for notable brands leading in the NFT space. And according to Data compiled by Dune, Nike has generated $93 million in primary sales revenue and $92 million in royalties. Most of which is a result of sales of CloneX and other RTFKT releases.
RTFKT clarified in a Twitter thread that they would assist Nike in its expansion into web3, adding the release of CloneX digital wearables.
A broad Overview
While it is evident that Nike is one of the leading brands in the NFT space, it is essential to note that they are only one of many brand players in the industry. For instance, Adidas, one of its main competitors, has also dabbled in the space. Other notable fashion brands that are active players include Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, Tiffany, and Louis Vuitton.