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Nike buys NFT startups to sell virtual sneakers in the metaverse

Nike buys NFT startups to sell virtual sneakers in the metaverse

Nike has closed its acquisition of RTFKT, a startup specializing in non-fungible tokens (NFTs) collectibles and fashion, in another move that indicates the sporting goods manufacturer’s commitment to the concept of metaverso.

One of RTFKT’s flagship products is a hybrid NFT sneaker and collectible sneaker, inspired by the popular NFT CryptoPunks collection. The project received a lot of attention in March of this year when a group in partnership with NFT artist FEWOCiOUS sold $3.1 million worth of sneakers from the metaverse.

The acquisition was announced by RTFKT on Twitter. None of the companies released the terms of the agreement.

According to Nike, the startup team “uses the latest gaming tools, NFTs, blockchain authentication, and augmented reality to create unique virtual products and experiences.”

“This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and innovators at the intersection of sports, creativity, games and culture,” said John Donahoe, president of the sports brand.

“We are acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow its innovative and creative community and expand Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities,” the CEO continued in the text.

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Last month, Nike already announced the launch of its own virtual space into the metaverse, Nikeland, in partnership with gaming company Roblox.

Users can access the area for free to perform exclusive activities such as mini-games. But the company’s idea is to expand the business, with simulations while major sporting events are happening in real life, for example.

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