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Nike wants to bring sneakerheads into the Metaverse

nike metaverse scaled

Nike wants to bring sneakerheads into the Metaverse

Nike intends to sell you digital products in the Metaverse, and you will buy them because Nike knows how to make you want them.

The apparel giant has taken its first steps into the metaverse. The Oregon-based company has filed several new trademarks this week that indicate its intent to make and sell virtual Nike-branded sneakers and apparel.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Nike filed applications on Oct. 27 for “Nike,” the brand’s famous slogan “Just Do It,” and its swoosh logo. The following day, two more applications, for the “Air Jordan” and “Jumpman” logos, were filed. In total, seven different applications have been submitted.

Nike Inc (NKE.N) on Thursday revealed a virtual world modeled after its headquarters on video game platform Roblox Corp (RBLX.N), becoming one of the first big brands to enter the “metaverse”.

The digital space, called “NIKELAND”, allows players to outfit their avatar with special Nike products and is free for anyone to visit on Roblox.

Visitors can currently play “Tag”, “The Floor Is Lava” and “Dodgeball” on the platform, which also lets creators design their own mini-games from interactive sports materials.

Metaverse, a buzzword in the tech industry after Facebook (FB.O) renamed itself Meta, is a shared virtual world where people in the form of avatars can interact with others, enjoy concerts and digitally shop. read more

The global metaverse market is expected to reach $6.16 billion in 2021 and $41.62 billion by 2026, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. read more

“Nike created this bespoke world with the backdrop of its world headquarters and inside Roblox’s immersive 3D space, building on its goal to turn sport and play into a lifestyle,” the sportswear maker said.

On NIKELAND, visitors can use the accelerometers in their mobile devices to transfer offline movement to online play, allowing real-life movement in the digital space.

What about in the Metaverse?

Nike wants to bring sneakerheads into the Metaverse

Why Nike is interested in the Metaverse

For those as of yet unfamiliar with the concept, the easiest — yet very incomplete — way of imagining the Metaverse is imagining yourself existing in a real-life video game. Nike enters and provides very cool meta-stuff.

Why Nike is interested in the Metaverse

This is no joke. Nike is very serious about the Metaverse.

Patent filings dating way back to the pre-Metaverse universe in 2018 reveal that Nike has seriously been stockpiling the tools with which it can do business in the Metaverse. These digital tools will include sneakers but also avatars and other forms of virtual branding. Sure, Nike intends to sell you digital products (and you will buy them because Nike knows how to make you want them), but the meta-plan revolves around entire digital worlds.

Is this just Nike being Nike? Sure, but if we choose to define that as creating net-new revenue streams, as it has throughout its entire history, then good for it. Someone’s going to own the Metaverse swag, and it might as well be Nike.

The Metaverse has rules that will be new for Nike

Nike needs to be prepared for the notion of destruction by duplication. In this temporal world, Nike has been very litigious of late with its intellectual property (IP). Yet, in the Metaverse, duplication will transcend our current conceptions of what’s legal. The value of Nike’s meta-wares will absolutely be affected by what the company would deem to be pirates yet others would call artists.

In the real world, there is a recent art project called the Museum of Forgeries with significant commercial application. In brief, Brooklyn art collective Mschf bought an original Warhol for $20,000 and made 999 exact forgeries. It then mixed in the original and sold all 1,000 “might be real” Warhols for $250 each for a grand total of $250,000, of which $230,000 is profit.