Nike’s Web3 Marketplace
Following its November 2021 launch of Nikeland on Roblox and December 2021 acquisition of US non-fungible token (NFT) studio RTFKT, Nike is evolving its metaverse strategy by focusing its Web3 efforts on co-creation. Its new marketplace .Swoosh is billed as a platform “designed to give you the opportunity to create the future of Nike”.
Currently in beta mode (registrations to join opened on November 18), members will be able to create virtual products in line with brand-set design briefs. They will then vote on the best items to form the first co-created digital collection – comprising sneakers, apparel and accessories – which will go on sale on .Swoosh in January. Although Nike does plan to develop a degree of interoperability (the ability to port NFTs across proto-metaverse environments) – particularly between RTFKT and Nikeland, but also on external platforms – details have not yet been disclosed.
Members will not only be able to collect these products, but also trade them. Notably, they’ll be sold in dollars rather than cryptocurrency (although transactions will be recorded on the Indian blockchain Polygon). This decision is likely to have had a twofold motivation. First, it opens up access to non-crypto-natives – a tactic already adopted by British department stores Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. Secondly, it allows Nike to circumnavigate the volatility associated with digital currencies – most recently seen in the FTX collapse.
In 2023, Nike will also begin to host competitions where members can co-create virtual products with the brand’s in-house designers, earning a percentage of royalties on sales. It’s an evolution of a strategy previously employed by smaller players, such as US streetwear brand The Hundreds.