As Nike expands its footprint in the metaverse, last week it announced the acquisition of virtual sneaker company RTFKT for an undisclosed amount.
Earlier this week, Nike announced that it had acquired virtual sneakers and collectible brand RTFKT for an undisclosed price.
In its announcement, Nike defined RTFK as “a leading brand that relies on cutting-edge innovation” before explaining that the merger aims to offer “next-gen collectibles that merge culture and play.”
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RTFKT, founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, is a pioneer in redefining “the limits of physical and digital value to serve their vast community of creators.”
According to Nike, the dedicated team at RTFXT “harnesses the latest game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one-of-a-kind virtual products and experiences.”
RTFKT is now part of the NIKE, Inc. family 🌐👁🗨 pic.twitter.com/5egNk9d8wA
— RTFTK Studios (@RTFKTstudios) December 13, 2021
“This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and enables us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, games and culture,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of Nike.
By “another step” Donahoe is referring to the fact that the company, which has now become the largest US-based sportswear manufacturer to join the metaverse, did some preliminary legwork before jumping on the bandwagon.
Last month, Nike filed a patent application for its name, logo and famous slogan for use online and, more specifically, for use in the “online virtual worlds”. Along with filing the patent application, the company also posted two new job openings for virtual material designers, highlighting its intention to expand its brand and business into the metaverse ecosystem.
The acquisition of RTFKT confirms this intention and accelerates Nike’s digital transformation efforts. Nike has previously placed RTFXT’s lightning bolt logo next to its own and those of its subsidiary brands, Jumpman and Converse.
Earlier this month, German sportswear manufacturer Adidas announced its entry into the augmented metaverse by partnering with NFT companies including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney NFT, and Punks Comic.
It’s time to step into a world of limitless possibilities.https://t.co/LmgtrRn20c pic.twitter.com/40kU8tayrS
—Adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) December 2, 2021
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