Nike announces development of metaverse platform .SWOOSH

Nike has announced the development of .SWOOSH (pronounced “dot Swoosh”), a Web3-enabled platform that will provide Polygon-based NFT products.

.SWOOSH is set to be a home for Nike’s virtual footwear, apparel and accessories that can be worn in video games and other immersive experiences. The company will reveal the specifics of those virtual items soon.

For the time being, .SWOOSH is currently in an invite-only beta phase, meaning users will need an access code to participate. Its membership registration will open on November 18.

Nike said .SWOOSH was developed to create a robust web3 community where users can access exclusive events and work collaboratively with Nike designers on virtual products.

In the beginning, the platform will focus on community building and present members with “challenges” to assess their preferences. Nike will officially launch .SWOOSH in January 2023, with activities like interactive voting marking the launch.

By then, members will be able to buy and sell these digital-only items. The platform will use cash rather than cryptocurrency, but all transactions will be recorded on Polygon.

“It will be a place where our community can come in and co-create that future with us,” Nike Virtual Studios general manager Ron Faris said. “You can collect, trade, and flex Nike virtual products. You can go to IRL events with your token-gated virtual creations.”

Work with RTFKT

Nike began its journey into the metaverse with digital collectibles and experiences with RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”). RTFKT is a widely known NFT brand that Nike procured in December 2021.

With RTFKT, Nike created CryptoKicks, which made $3.1 million by selling 600 pairs of virtual sneakers, and established collaborations with notable artists like Takashi Murakami and FEWOCiOUS.

“We’ve learned a lot from our friends at RTFKT about how to do this right,” Faris said, “and we talk to them weekly about what are the best practices and how we can start to take certain learnings and really broaden them.”

An RTFKT representative explained on social media that the studio was not in charge of the .SWOOSH project but was assisting Nike as it ventured into Web3.

Nike will also publish digital apparel for RTFKT’s CloneX NFT avatars on .SWOOSH, which will not be available at launch. According to the company, owners of the avatars can use them in supported Web3 games and metaverse worlds.

Nike’s digital venture

Nike earlier built a Roblox metaverse space called “Nikeland.” There, users can buy and wear virtual goods instead of cash or cryptocurrency. According to Roblox, the virtual world has welcomed over 26 million visitors since its launch in November 2021. Faris claimed that the company had not considered how .SWOOSH and Nikeland would be integrated.

It is only logical that Nike considers a virtual product marketplace the next step in its digital success. Following the pandemic, the company’s online sales increased significantly. Digital channels and applications accounted for more than a quarter of its revenues by March 2022.

“This is us serving the marketplace of the future, led by meeting the consumer where they play or shop,” Faris said.

In December, Nike Virtual Studios will visit Atlanta, Charlotte, Louisville, Los Angeles, New York City and Tallahassee.