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Sportswear Behemoth Nike Acquires NFT Collectibles Studio RTFKT

The world’s leading athletic apparel company – Nike Inc. – announced the acquisition of RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”). Similar to Nike, the latter offers shoes, too, except those only exist digitally.

Nike Enters The Metaverse

The American sportswear giant – Nike – revealed its jump in the metaverse space by a post on its official website. It described RTFKT as “a leading brand that leverages cutting edge innovation to deliver next-generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming.”

John Donahoe – President and CEO of Nike – opined that this acquisition is a step towards the digital transformation of his company. Additionally, it would create more options to serve athletes and people interested in sports, creativity, gaming, and culture. However, Nike’s team did not disclose the terms of the deal.

“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 concluded.

Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s Co-Founders – also commented on the collaboration. He expects the NFT studio to benefit from Nike’s “foundational strength.” The top exec added that the American sportswear brand was the only one to match the “deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity, and community.”

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Formed by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev at the beginning of the COVID era in January 2020, RTFKT was born for the Metaverse, the project explained.

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It uses the latest in-game engines, NFT, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality, combined with manufacturing expertise to create one-of-a-kind sneakers and digital artifacts.

Adidas Is Already In

Earlier this month, Adidas – another major brand considered Nike’s top competitor – formed three Metaverse-related partnerships with Punks Comic, GMoney, and Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC).

The popular sports company released a video trailer celebrating the collaboration. On it, GMoney, a crypto punk, and a bored ape are shown flying from outer space together towards Earth. The whole scene happens to the tune of Louis Armstrong’s “What a wonderful world.”

“It’s time to enter a world of limitless possibilities,” the firm said in conclusion.

It is worth noting that Coinbase – the leading US cryptocurrency exchange – responded to Adidas’ announcement, promising to meet them in the Metaverse. This came days after the sportswear brand confirmed a partnership with the trading venue. Rather than giving further details about the initiative, Adidas just posted the popular phrase in the crypto community: “probably nothing.”

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Tags: Metaverse Non-Fungible Token (NFT)

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