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Nike buys RTFKT NFT studio to expand into the metaverse

By:
on Dec 14, 2021
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  • Nike has acquired RTFKT for an undisclosed amount.
  • The acquisition comes as Nike seeks to expand into the metaverse.
  • RTFKT is a virtual sneaker maker and one of the leading NFT studios.

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Nike is pushing hard in regards to its presence in the fast-growing metaverse. On Monday, the company announced the acquisition of RTFKT, a virtual sneaker company. RTFKT is also one of the leading non-fungible collectible (NFT) studios.

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RTFKT was founded in 2020, and it has partnered with crypto developers to create various items, including physical shoes inspired by the imagery of other NFT projects such as Bored Apes and CryptoPunks.

Nike acquires RTFKT as a metaverse push

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The financials of the acquisition have not been disclosed by the sportswear giant firm. However, the move is seen as one of Nike’s efforts to venture deeper into the metaverse. Nike has already reportedly filed for a patent of its logo for use in the metaverse.

The metaverse is one of the fastest-growing areas in the technology and blockchain spaces. Nike is one of the largest brands to express interest in this area. Increased interest in the metaverse happened after Facebook announced rebranding into Meta.

The Chief Executive of Nike, John Donahoe, noted that “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.”

The move also comes at an opportune time for RTFKT, given that studio recently launched one of the most popular NFT drops. The drop was enabled by a partnership with renowned artist, Takashi Murakami, popularly known as CloneX. This drop has recorded almost $65M in transaction volumes in less than three weeks.

The co-founder of RTFKT, Benoit Pagotto, noted that this partnership was a

Unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand, and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love.

Sports apparel firms investing in the virtual world

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Nike’s greatest competitor, Adidas, is also venturing into the metaverse. Last month, the sports apparel company hinted that it would be building its virtual world experience on The Sandbox.

Earlier this month, Adidas announced collaborating with the Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC). This is one of the most iconic NFT projects in the sector.

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