Nike acquires virtual sneakers and collectibles studio RTFKT

Nike, which reportedly filed seven trademark applications in October as part of its preparations to enter the metaverse by selling virtual sneakers and apparel, announced that it has acquired NFT collectibles studio RTFKT.

“This acquisition is 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,” says John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. “We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”  

Founded in 2020, by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT, in its own words, creates metaverse-ready sneakers and collectibles that people can buy virtually by paying real money. Its dedicated team leverages the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences. 

Back in May, the studio raised a $8 million seed round led by Andressen Horowitz at a $33.3 million valuation. 

According to CryptoSlam, RTFT’s CloneX NFT drop, which the studio collaborated on with Takashi Murakami, has already reached a transaction volume of $65 million since its initial drop less than 3 weeks ago.  

“This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love,” says Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders. “Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Written by Sophie Blake

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