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Nike Acquires Non-Fungible Sneaker Studio RTFKT


Key Takeaways

  • Nike has acquired RTFKT, a non-fungible token studio with a collection that includes virtual sneaker collectibles.
  • According to OpenSea, RTFKT has 561 NFTs in its own collection and has created at least 1000 others.
  • It is unclear whether the acquisition is related to various NFT and crypto-related patents filed by Nike last month.

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Nike announced today that it has acquired RTFKT, a virtual sneaker design company and a studio for non-fungible tokens.

Nike Acquires RTFKT

RTFKT was founded in 2020 to create virtual sneaker designs for use in online games and, now, the Metaverse. The group provided designs for game companies and fashion designers before moving into NFT (or “cryptocollectible”) designs last year.

The group’s OpenSea page says that RTFKT has 561 NFTs in its own collection and has created at least 1000 others. Its most notable series is a line of virtual sneakers designed around CryptoPunks, one of which sold for 3.2 ETH (over $12,000) today.

Nike President and CEO John Donahoe wrote that the acquisition is part of the company’s attempts to engage with digital culture. He added that Nike will gain a “talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand” through the acquisition.

RTFKT wrote that “NIKE is the only brand in the world we always looked up to and got inspired by when starting RTFKT.” It also explained that it will continue to expand its brand and image under Nike.

Nike Filed Patents Last Month

In November, Nike filed patents for technologies that appeared to be related to non-fungible tokens. It also began to work on another NFT project called “CryptoKicks” in December 2019. It is unclear whether today’s news is related to these other efforts.

Nevertheless, the timing of the news—combined with each group’s closely aligned goals—suggests that RTFKT plans to make some of Nike’s most recent patents into a reality.

Nike is just one of several major companies with its eyes on NFTs. Others include its competitor Adidas, as well as more distant companies like Ubisoft, Facebook, Time Magazine, and Visa.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies.

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