Sneakers NFT RTFKT

NFT studio RTFKT sells one-of-a-kind sneakers | Source: RTFKT

Nike Expands into the Metamarket with RTFKT Acquisition

Sportswear giant Nike is expanding into the metaverse with the acquisition of London-based NFT studio, RTFKT (pronounced ‘artefact’).

In a statement, NIKE, Inc President and CEO John Donahoe said the company’s plan is “to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow its innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”

Founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT was “fully formed in the metaverse” and has quickly become known for its NFT sneakers, memes and collectible exclusives. RTFKT also has an avatar project called Clone X, which features collaborations with Takashi Murakami. Clone X owners are granted their own virtual “space pods” to showcase their virtual collection.

This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love.

Benoit Pagotto, co-founder of RTFKT

In an Instagram post announcing the acquisition, RTFKT asked its 245,000 followers if they were ready for Air Jordan NFTs.

Earlier this year, RTFKT generated some A$11 million in a round led by venture capital giant, Andreessen Horowitz. Currently, NFT buyers can purchase virtual works listed on RTFKT using the cryptocurrency, Ethereum.

The acquisition by Nike signals the global brand has its sights set on planting firm roots in the ‘metamarket’, an objective made evident by the launch of its “bespoke world” in Roblox, NIKE LAND, in November.

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