Last year, Nike embraced the metaverse. How’s that paying off?

By 03/23/2022
Last year, Nike embraced the metaverse. How’s that paying off?

Nike says nearly 7 million people have visited its metaverse superplex, Nikeland, since the locale launched in November.

Nikeland is built within Roblox, the online gaming platform that boasts nearly 50 million daily active users and has been making metaverse moves since…well, technically since its beginnings. Roblox’s spate of metaverse partnerships kicked off in 2021, and so far it’s designed in-game locations for brands like Ralph Lauren, Chipotle, and the NFL.

And, of course, Nike. The sportswear brand hailed Nikeland—which is based on its real-life headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon—as a “bespoke world” where users could “turn sport and play into a lifestyle.”


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Nikeland is free to access (at least for now) and stocked with minigames. It also, like most brands’ metaverse locations, wraps in real-life products: users are encouraged to outfit their avatars with digital versions of the newest Nike drops, like Air Force 1 Fontanka and Air Max 2021 sneakers.

On top of daily offerings, Nike’s taking a page out of Fortnite’s book and holding digital events with real celebrities.

“During NBA All-Star Week, LeBron James visited Nikeland on Roblox to inspire its community towards physical movement in play,” John Donahoe, Nike’s CEO and president, said on the earnings call, per The Drum. “On the Nikeland court, LeBron coached and engaged with players, and participants were rewarded for physical gameplay with the ability to unlock virtual products.”

Nikeland’s minigames involve making uses of devices’ accelerometers to detect body movements and turn them into gameplay, Nike says.

6.7 million eyeballs on Nike’s new products

The 6.7 million people who’ve visited Nikeland so far have come from 224 different countries, and all those people are “driving energy” to virtual products, Donahoe said.

Donahoe went on to say that Nike now considers web3 ventures a key revenue strategy. That might not be surprising, considering the brand snapped up metaverse sneaker maker RTFKT in December. The acquisition terms weren’t disclosed, but RTFKT was valued at $33 million before the merger.

At the time, Donahoe described the acquisition as “another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture.”

He added that Nike’s plan was to “invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”

RTFKT and Nike debuted their first NFT, MNLTH, last month. The NFT is currently listed on OpenSea for 5.8 Ethereum, or around $17,195.

Also last month, Nike filed a lawsuit against sneaker resale platform StockX for launching an NFT collection that included tokens based on Nike shoes.

Donahoe said that Nike Digital, the division that includes the company’s web3 ventures, currently brings in 26% of Nike’s total revenue.

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