Nike doubles down on metaverse, acquiring fashion NFT brand RTFKT

  • A few days after Adidas announced its partnership with the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Nike countered with a huge flex today, acquiring the hot crypto fashion brand RTFKT Studios, which just dropped the reveal for its sizzling line of CLONE-X NFTs with the artist Murakami.
  • The competition between Nike and Adidas to develop innovative products and experiences for the metaverse feels palpable. It’s almost like an arms race for control over the sneaker and athletic wear market in the metaverse. Who will win?
  • From the press release:
  • “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,” says John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. “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.”  
  • Founded in 2020, by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT is a pioneering and innovative brand that redefines the boundaries of physical and digital value to serve their broad community of creators. This dedicated team leverages the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences. 
  • “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,” says Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders. “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.”