Nike Steps Further into Web3 with Community-Based Virtual Sportswear Design
- By John K. Waters
Sportswear giant Nike has taken another step into Web3 territory with the launch of .Swoosh, a blockchain-based platform from which members can create and collect digital versions of jerseys, shoes and other clothing to wear in online games and other virtual spaces.
The company bills .Swoosh as a "new community experience, designed to give you the opportunity to co-create the future of Nike" and "offer an inclusive, equitable place for athletes, creators, collectors and consumers to design and own the future of sport."
This platform meets consumers wherever they play and shop "sport," said Ron Faris, GM of Nike Virtual Studios, in a statement, and provides a gateway into "a new digital arena."
"We are shaping a marketplace of the future with an accessible platform for the web3-curious," Faris said. "In this new space, the .SWOOSH community and Nike can create, share, and benefit together."
The platform is currently in beta, but Nike says it will launch its first digital collection in 2023. Those interested in participating can join on the .Swoosh page. Those without access can sign in and join the waitlist.
Nike acquired 2-year-old digital fashion startup Rtfkt almost a year ago, ramping up its bet on the future of retail in the metaverse. In a statement announcing the deal, Nike cited the platform's "next-generation collectables that merge culture and gaming." The acquisition was "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," Nike president and CEO John Donahoe said at the time.
Nike says it will debut its first digital collection "shaped by the platform's community" in 2023. After the first digital collection drops, members will be able to enter a community challenge to win the opportunity to co-create virtual product with Nike. Those winners can earn a royalty on the virtual product they help co-create.
Although the .Swoosh site is all about virtual objects, the company points out that, in some instances, community members will be able to unlock access to physical product or events, including "intimate conversations with athletes or designers."
According to Vogue Business, Nike has already collected more than $185 million in revenue through Web3 products.
John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of Converge360.com sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.