Nike acquires virtual sneaker company RTFkt

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Nike describes RTFKT as a brand that leverages cutting-edge innovation to deliver next-gen collectibles that fuse culture and play.

Founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT uses the latest game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create unique virtual products and experiences.

“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, play and culture,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of Nike, Inc. “We are acquiring a very talented creative team with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and expand the Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.

Pagotto adds, “This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to leverage Nike’s core 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 that was entirely formed in the metaverse.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Nike recently posted a 16% jump in reported first-quarter revenue, with net profit rising to YS$1.9 billion from $1.5 billion a year earlier.

Meanwhile, according to recent analysis by GlobalData, Nike is the fashion and accessories company best positioned to take advantage of the upcoming apparel disruption in the industry.

In October, the American sportswear giant unveiled a new high-tech research and innovation lab where it will test advanced prototypes for new lines.

The facility will house biomechanics researchers, robotics experts, computer designers and patent professionals, in addition to more than 80 new prototype machines, 825 test equipment, 97 force plates and four environmental chambers. It also includes the largest motion capture facility in the world comprising 400 cameras.

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