Nike has established itself as the industry leader in fashionable footwear. Now, with the acquisition of digital art creator and NFT vendor RTFKT Studios, it’s preparing to extend its market dominance into the digital world.
Although Nike did not disclose the amount exchanged in the purchase of RTFKT, it is evidently taking the initiative in claiming a slice of the still-hot digital assets pie. Referring to RTFKT as “a leading brand” in the world of digital collectible goods, Nike is positioning itself to extend its own branding into the next generation of VR, AR, and game engines. With this partnership, it is expected that Nike’s popular brand icons, including its swoosh and Jumpman logos, will soon be appearing on custom “kicks” across the metaverse.
Though RTFKT’s business may sound unsettlingly ahead of the cutting edge, it’s already made a considerable name for itself in the world of digital art and branding. Backed by established VC firm A16Z, the startup has recently announced a collaboration with Japanese digital artist Takashi Murakami to provide ready-to-use avatars for the metaverse. RTFKT also made waves with a 2021 partnership with FEWOCiOUS, selling hundreds of pairs of real sneakers and synchronous NFTs in only six minutes.