Nike Acquires NFT Startup RTFKT Studios in Order to ‘Deliver Next-Generation Collectibles

Nike made the announcement on December 13th that had purchased digital collectibles company RTFKT Studios. This news comes after Nike’s first steps towards the metaverse in the first week of November and the company’s integration with Roblox. The footwear company published a blog about Nikeland, a virtual world inspired by Nike that is located in the Roblox Metaverse. After Nike’s move into the realms of metaverse industry, blockchain world, Adidas has also been racing towards NFTs.

RTFKT Studios was founded by three friends in January 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 era, according to the website. RTFKT (pronounced artifact), is a non-fungible token technology (NFT), blockchain authentication and augmented reality. RTFKT and an NFT artist, dubbed “Fewocious,” sold 600 pairs each of virtual and physical sneaker NFTs to for $3.1million at the time of settlement. RTFKT is also behind Clonex NFT avatars.

Clonex NFT avatars allow users to use them in the physical and metaverse worlds. Clonex NFTs were created by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. According to reports, avatar NFTs sold quickly but suffered from ‘attacks & controversy’.

Nike President Declares That Nike’s Acquisition Will “Extend Nike’s Digital Footprint” and Capabilities

John Donahoe, Nike’s president and CEO, spoke out about RTFKT acquisition and steps taken by the company toward the metaverse.

Donahoe stated in a statement that “This acquisition is another step to accelerate Nike’s digital transformation” and would allow Nike to serve creators and athletes at the intersection between sport, creativity and culture.

“We are acquiring a talented team of creators with a connected brand. We plan to invest in RTFKT, serve and expand their creative and innovative community, and increase Nike’s digital capabilities.

RTFKT now forms part of the NIKE, Inc. Family.

– RTFKT Studios (@RTFKTstudios) December 13, 2021

Nike ensured that a number well-known trademarks, such as the Just do It tagline, the SNKRS logo and the Air Jordan Jumpman,’ were available for use as ‘downloadable virtual good’.

‘Nike, the only brand that shares our deep passion for innovation, creativity and community, is the best,’ Benoit Pagotto (one of RTFKT’s founders) said during the acquisition announcement. The RTFKT Studios purchase press release from Nike states that the terms of sale “will not be revealed” to the public.