Nike takes a leap into the metaverse

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Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) appears to want to become a major sportswear brand in the metaverse as well as in reality.


The footwear and apparel colossus has applied for its name, swoosh logo and “just do it” slogan to be used in virtual goods for its entertainment services, retail stores and “for use online and in online virtual worlds,” according to records submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office.


Nike-branded virtual goods, including clothing and trainers, will be in the ‘metaverse’ space should the trademark application be accepted.


The filings, along with two recent job postings for virtual material designers, suggest that the company is laying the foundations for Nike-branded products in the metaverse.


Nike said in the job adverts that the prospective employees would “play a key role in redefining our digital world, ushering us into the metaverse”.


Although multi-player worlds both off and online have been going for many decades and Second Life was launched by Linden Lab in 2003, focus on the metaverse has taken off in recent weeks after social media giant Facebook rebranded its name to Meta as it ramps up investment in its own metaverse, where people can meet and connect virtually using avatars.


Nike is not the first trainer brand to make moves into the metaverse, either.


RTFKT Studios, a digital fashion company that designs and sells virtual trainers and other fashion items for the metaverse, obtained US$8mln in a fundraising round in May.


Nike has also stepped up its digital game in recent years, delving into nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and other crypto-related ventures, including tokenising its CryptoKicks shoes on the Ethereum blockchain.

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