As Nike expands its footprint in the metaverse, last week it announced the acquisition of virtual sneaker company RTFKT for an undisclosed sum.
Earlier this week, Nike announced that it has acquired virtual sneakers and collectible brand RTFKT for an undisclosed price.
In its announcement, Nike defined RTFKT as “a leading brand that leverages cutting edge innovation” before explaining that the merger aims to deliver “next-generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming.”
RTFKT, founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev, is a pioneer in redefining “the boundaries of physical and digital value to serve their broad community of creators.”
According to Nike, RTFKT’s dedicated team “leverages the latest in-game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences.”
RTFKT is now a part of the NIKE, Inc. family. 🌐👁🗨 pic.twitter.com/5egNk9d8wA
— RTFKT (@RTFKT) December 13, 2021
“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,” said John Donahoe, Nike’s President, and CEO.
By “another step,” Donahoe refers to the fact that the company, which has now become the biggest US-based sportswear manufacturer to join the metaverse, has been making preliminary moves before jumping on the bandwagon.
Last month, Nike submitted a request to patent its name, logo, and notorious slogan for online use and, specifically, for its use in the “online virtual worlds.” Apart from filing the patenting request, the company also posted two new job offers for virtual material designers, pointing to 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 already placed RTFKT’s lightning bolt-style logo next to its own and those of its subsidiary brands, Jumpman and Converse.
Earlier this month, German sportswear manufacturer Adidas announced its entrance into the metaverse raise by partnering with NFT companies, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney NFT, and Punks Comic.
— adidas Originals (@adidasoriginals) December 2, 2021