What's The Point of Sneaker NFTs?
The sneaker culture is revolved around community, fashion, and a whole lot of collecting. With relation to this, contracts (that come with NFTs) don't often include compensation for the reissue of a design. Similarly, success of the secondary market is never rewarded to the initial creators, despite the fact that resale is such a big part of the sneaker scene today.
With smart contracts and NFTs, collectors and creators have a solution to represent trademark rights while preserving the deeply rooted culture of collecting among sneakerheads. NFTs could bring value to sneakers by providing a way for both creators and athletes who collaborate to receive value with every sale and subsequent resale after.
Customers and purchase habits in the same conversation, the question of what product category in the retail scene is in most demand remains a mystery. However, in today's culture, for many people, that's sneakers. Combined with the utility of NFTs, brands are able to close the connection gap with their audience through endless possibilities. From collaborating with creators and athletes who have impactful stories to tell and bringing them to life through both a physical sneaker and a digital twin... to adding on a charitable component to every drop for added value, the narrative of each product can be refined even further without boundaries.
Why pair NFTs with physical sneakers?
By tethering NFTs to physical sneakers, NFT owners have a permanent immutable certificate of ownership to their sneakers. That's a new layer of authenticity for sneaker enthusiasts. It contains all of the relevant information about each pair, and that's just the beginning.
Access to building sneakers have always been exclusive to a very small tier of people at the legacy brands, so it would bring much greater value to integrate both physical and digital together. What better way to do just that, than through NFTs that let them be worn in the metaverse and in gaming environments. In addition, owning one unlocks unique rights based on the collaborator that the brand chooses to work with, and what their interests and ideas are. From this, customers can be granted access to the collaborators through exclusive Discord channels, or brands could invite NFT holders to in-person events, or to products not offered on the open market. Communities of fans and supporters can come together through the shared ownership of these unique drops.
What it is essentially creating is less of a brand-to-consumer relationship, and more of a shared community engagement with each collaboration. Now, this is just a whole realm of innovation in terms of creating community engagement and not just a physical product offering.
The impact of NFTs on sneaker collecting culture
Collectibles have always been at the core of sneaker culture and NFTs. On that basis alone, the culture of both worlds collide in ways a lot more similar than different. Collectibles are a clean use case for NFTs. All the things that make collectibles valuable and fun, NFTs are able to articulate. Through this, they ensure scarcity and you can see where they came from, and even track them over time.
NFTs are the backbone of this new collectible economy, and sneakers fit so well into that paradigm. Of course, we do not know how exactly it would affect the sneaker collecting experience in the long run, but NFTs could enhance the product offering to a whole new level. What NFTs can unlock in terms of the experiences will be a whole new experience for collectors and brands alike.
All of this is happening in the Web3 space in general. There are people who are buying NFT artwork because they're fans of the work, and others who purchase because they speculate on the value that will be created in the future. On this very fact itself, it's truly similar to what's happening within sneaker collecting culture. Either way, we can't deny the value of it with the overwhelming demand of NFTs from sneakers, fashion and collectibles. If its not enough to convince you, just read this article to learn how Adidas and Prada made it work with their latest NFT collaboration.