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Adidas Joins Nike in the Metaverse as Industry Inches Closer to ‘Wear-to-Earn’ Model


Neither the author, Kingsley Alo, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

On December 2, 2021, Adidas announced its ‘leap’ into the Metaverse – a collaborative effort with Bored Ape Yacht Club, gmoney NFT, and PUNKS Comic. The partnership would see the sneaker giant continue its push to gain a foothold in the Metaverse. 

The sportswear brand expressed its desire to champion original cutting edge ideas in the metaverse. This would enable the inhabitants of the virtual space to flourish and express their most creative thoughts while being their honest selves. 

Adidas’ Foray Into the Metaverse Explained

Before this announcement, Adidas had been making concerted efforts to position itself as a significant player in the metaverse. In November, the company announced a partnership with Coinbase who recently unveiled a marketplace for NFTs. 

Asides from that, Adidas also owns a plot of digital land called “Adidas”, purchased on the blockchain-based virtual gaming world, The Sandbox. The 144- parcel space will enable the creation of an immersive space that will create a virtual experience.

It is not clear what Adidas’  end game is for the time being. However, these moves suggest that the company is placing its bets on the Metaverse being a huge success. This will, in turn, allow the clothing brand to promote its physical merchandise as virtual items. With this development, new avenues and opportunities for interaction with customers, advertisement, sale and ownership of exclusive products will also open up in the virtual world.

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Nike Also Ventures Into the Metaverse

Similarly, on the other hand, Nike has also introduced their virtual universe. “Nikeland” is a 3D space where gamers may connect, create, share experiences, and compete using avatars outfitted with virtual, limited-edition Nike items. The entire virtual world revolves around Nike’s objective of making sports a way of life.

The American shoe giant also plans to tokenize shoe ownership using the Ethereum blockchain. Shoes purchased will have a ten-digit identification code to effectively link an owner with the shoe. The effort by Nike sees it harness the power of the blockchain in its ongoing battle against counterfeiting.

The emergence of the Metaverse and Web 3.0 is expected to disrupt various industries, including the multibillion-dollar global fashion industry. Traditional fashion design will likely evolve into virtual wearables used in augmented reality (AR) and real-life as the world shifts digital. 

Like the play-to-earn model in the gaming industry, the fashion sector may also develop a wear-to-earn model. According to Megan Kaspar, managing director at Magnetic Capital, the “wear-to-earn” model will thrive as designers, brands, and stores create garments to fit digital closets. Kaspar stated that designers would eventually pay people to wear their virtual items to develop long-term consumer ties.

Major fashion brands like Adidas and Nike are already well-positioned to take full advantage of the digital space shift.

Stock Prices Show Mixed Reactions to Metaverse Plans

Adidas and Nike Stock prices did not react significantly to the moves made by both companies. Following the NFT partnership announcement, the Adidas stock price in freefall since November continued to trade around $145.18. Nike, however, saw a slight push in its price, rising from $166.68 to $170.

Daily graph showing Adidas and Nike Stock Price. (Source: Tradingview)

Both companies are taking initial steps into the nascent metaverse space. Hence, it may take a while before their decisions factor into their stock prices. However, with the cyberspace world gaining increased attention, Adidas and Nike are set to dominate the virtual fashion sector.

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Do you see Adidas becoming popular in the Metaverse? Let us know in the comments below.

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