Nike on Monday announced it acquired RTFKT, one of the hottest NFT companies with some of the top-selling projects on NFT markets, for an undisclosed price.
The acquisition is another sign that the sneaker maker has major plans for the metaverse and digital footwear. Last month, Nike created a virtual world on Roblox, the gaming platform, and filed for seven "virtual goods" trademarks.
RTFKT has been behind some of the most successful NFT launches, commanding more than $700,000 on marketplaces like OpenSea, a trading platform for non-fungible tokens.
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Marketers and NFT enthusiasts said Nike’s deal for RTFKT could spur even broader adoption of the crypto-technology. “This is a watershed moment for brands and NFTs,” said Avery Akkineni, president of VaynerNFT, which is a division of VaynerMedia that works with advertisers like AB InBev on NFT projects. “This shows the desire for mainstream brands to participate in this culture.”
Although many marketers and consumers are probably unfamiliar with RTFKT’s work, the startup’s projects, some of which include virtual sneakers, are well-known to NFT collectors. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are created using blockchain technology, which is the same computing platform that mints and tracks cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Brands have been getting more involved in NFTs this year, distributing NFT artworks and working with NFT creators. Meanwhile, major internet platforms like Meta (formerly Facebook), consider NFTs a foundational digital asset for the coming metaverse.