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Nike Empowers Individuals to Design Sneakers in the Metaverse

The athletic-wear brand's latest venture, .Swoosh, is a Web3-powered platform where users can purchase virtual products. Operating on the domain ".nike," it’s a beta digital space for registered members, focusing initially on community building and interactive challenges. 

RTFKT Nike virtual sneaker creation on white platform

The first virtual collection, including footwear, apparel, and accessories, launched in January 2023, with members having the opportunity to collect and trade digital-only products. Beyond virtual clothing, Nike hints at expanding .Swoosh's community challenges to include competitions for members to co-design virtual products with Nike's designers, earning a share of royalties. However, specifics on the creator economy, selection process, revenue percentage, and legal frameworks remain vague. Despite emphasising a safe and trusted space, Nike's approach raises questions about decentralised Web3 ethos, especially considering its ultimate ownership and oversight. 

Nike's prior presence on Roblox with Nikeland, prompts speculation about how .Swoosh will interact with existing virtual spaces. While .Swoosh may absorb Nikeland, interoperability is crucial for success!

Nike .Swoosh

The renowned global sports brand isn’t the first to take on virtual products, with Gucci, Givenchy, Ralph Lauren, and Balenciaga all having ventured into the metaverse; a market projected to reach $783.3 billion in 2024. 

Nike's foray into the virtual product marketplace aligns with its digital successes post-pandemic, with online sales surging! Despite acquiring NFT studio RTFKT, Nike’s steering clear of the current NFT trend, preferring to term its offerings "Nike virtual creations." The strategy involves attaching services and utilities to virtual products, envisioning them as more than just digital items. The goal is not only to sell virtual goods but to establish Nike's own virtual world, stepping away from established platforms like Roblox.

Industry analysts caution about the experimental nature of virtual products outside specific platforms like Roblox or Fortnite. Nike acknowledges the uncertainty, expressing a commitment to testing and learning different approaches, recognising the evolving landscape of Web3. As Nike fans anticipate co-created virtual sneakers in the coming year, the evolving dynamics of Web3 hint at a monetised future where brands take even greater ownership, as exemplified by Nike's .Swoosh. The revolution of the internet appears to be heading towards increased monetisation, so, get ready for your virtual kicks!


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