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  • Writer's pictureEugenie Mae

Nike's Metaverse Community and Marketplace is coming soon

Nike has just announced the launch of .Swoosh, a new metaverse marketplace platform meant to foster an "inclusive digital community" for athletes and Nike consumers.

The blockchain-powered platform will allow users to connect with other athletes and consumers, obtain virtual products and engage in immersive experiences. In this new space, which is currently in beta testing mode, Nike members will able to collect virtual footwear and apparel products to wear on the platform. In some cases, users will be able to access real products or events.

"We are shaping a marketplace of the future with an accessible platform for the web3-curious," said Ron Paris, FM of Nike Virtual Studios in a statement. "In this new space, the .Swoosh community and Nike can create, share, and benefit together."

Registration for the platform will be open on a rolling basis, with Nike focusing on diverse communities across the U.S. and in Europe. Nike will launch its first collection in 2023 with input from the community on .Swoosh and plans to roll out a challenge for some members to win a chance to co-create virtual product with Nike, which they can then earn royalties for online.

The news marks Nike's latest investment in the web3 and the metaverse. In December 2021, Nike Inc. acquired RTFKT, a digital creator of virtual sneakers, collectibles and accessories. Before that, Nike filed seven trademark applications related to its goal to create and sell virtual sneakers and apparel. In the wake of the deal, Stifle analysts said the acquisition had "strategic value" to help "expedite the expansion into Nike's potential NFT offerings."

Nike also partnered with Roblox to launch "Nikeland," a digital world for Nike fans to play games, connect, and dress their avatars in virtual apparel via a digital showroom, which includes products like the Air Force 1 and Nike Blazer. And in April, Nike tapped Twitter's former chief designer officer Dantley Davis as the company's VP of digital design.

Nike isn't the only brand leaning into digital opportunities. In September, Walmart launched two new metaverse experiences on Roblox. Over the last year, other retailers such as Adidas and Dick's Sporting Goods have rolled out stores, products or experiences in the metaverse as well.

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