Nike, one of the leading sports footwear and apparel manufacturer, is experimenting the metaverse with the creation of virtual materials.
Nike has recently filed documents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to use its name, swoosh logo, and slogan ‘Just Do It’ in virtual goods for its entertainment services, retail stores, as well as “online and in online virtual worlds”.
Along with its recent job postings (e.g: “virtual shoe designer”), this clearly hints that the company is laying down the groundwork for Nike-branded products in the metaverse.
Future Nike employees will “play a key role in redefining our digital world, taking us into the metaverse”. “They will join a team of virtual designers in the company’s digital product creation group to create virtual shoes and other products”.
Facebook’s rebranding announcement appears to have spurred the apparel maker’s move into the metaverse. The social media giant said it would create a virtual world that connects online social experiences with the physical world.
Nike is not only advancing its metaverse plans at the same time as Facebook. It has also already invested in non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and other cryptocurrency-related projects. In 2019, the company patented a tokenization system based on the Ethereum blockchain for its CryptoKicks shoes.
However, the company already faces competition in the metaverse. Sneaker brand RTFKT Studios launched virtual and physical shoes in May. It has since received $8 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Galaxy Digital and others.
In contrast to Nike’s virtual offerings, the global supply chain disruptions have affected its physical products, including shortages of shipping containers, staffing challenges, and other Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions and shortages.
The majority of Nike’s actual shoe production comes from Indonesia and Vietnam.. Comparatively, its virtual offerings could be entirely developed at the company’s Oregon headquarters.