Nike Buys NFT and Virtual Sneakers Brand RTFKT
Updated · Feb 21, 2022
The foot and sportswear giant announced the acquisition of digital fashion and collectibles company RTFKT Studios.
Nike is taking a leap into the metaverse, announcing on Monday that it has acquired collectibles studio, RTFKT. The start-up (pronounced “artifact”) has created some buzz recently, designing and selling digital sneakers and NFT collectibles.
Nike called the virtual fashion collective a “leading brand”. It voiced high hopes that it will act as a catalyst in its foray into the Web 3.0 era.
“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 CEO and President.
RTFKT’s team is highly rated, with Donahoe announcing that they will be joining Nike. He explained: “We are acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand.”
Nike, however, did not disclose the terms of the acquisition.
The market for digital products is on a high, and RTFKT has found itself riding the wave to some notable success. Its collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami on an NFT avatar project called CloneX has generated $77 million in sales volume in less than two months.
Launched in 2019, RTFKT started out designing custom sneakers for video gamers.
Since then, co-founders Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev have combined fashion, NFTs, crypto, and AR technology to expand their brand in other areas.
In May, the brand sold out 600 NFTs created in a collaboration with teenage crypto-artist Fewocious in seven minutes, generating $3.1m. A month later, it raised $8m in a seed funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.
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