Nike said it had bought virtual sneaker company RTFKT for an undisclosed sum, as the sportswear giant looks to expand its footprint in the fast-growing “metaverse quickly.”Nike became one of the first big brands to enter the shared virtual world that gained prominence after Facebook recently rebranded itself to Meta Platforms Facebook and Instagram.
In such blockchain-based environments, users can buy virtual land and other digital assets such as clothing for avatars in the form of a crypto asset called a non-fungible token. Formed in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT also makes NFT collectibles and memes, according to its website.
Nike Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe said in a statement that this acquisition is another step that accelerates digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture.
The company said that this is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand. We are excited to benefit from Nike foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love. He added that Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse