Thursday, December 8

The company on Monday launched Swoosh, which will become the online store for Nike virtual goods. 

The new marketplace is the latest sign of Nike’s commitment to connecting with consumers in virtual environments, even as doubts linger about the future of the metaverse and companies such as Meta fail to generate a return on billions of dollars in investment.

In a news release, Nike described Swoosh as a “web3-enabled platform” that will let users co-create virtual products with Nike designers, likely virtual shoes and jerseys.

The first virtual collection will drop next year. It will be “shaped” by the dotSwoosh community, the company said. But it’s unclear how much control users will have over the creation of products. Users will be able to create virtual products on the platform, and some products may be sold by Nike with creators earning royalties. 

Users will be able to wear the virtual goods in video games and other online environments, such as Roblox.

This year, the company put Ron Faris, who previously managed Nike’s wildly popular SNKRS app, in charge of a virtual studio overseeing the creation of virtual products. 

In an interview with Fast Company, Faris described virtual sneakers as a way to bridge the digital and physical, a popular talking point with Nike executives. 

“When you look at this virtual product, I don’t see just a shoe or vital product, I see a product and a service, or a set of utilities that come with it,” he said. 

Analysts have been generally positive about Nike’s metaverse ambitions and its acquisition of RTFKT, but sentiment around the metaverse has shifted over the past few months. 

Nike’s approach to the metaverse remains aggressive, unwavering, and deliberate. For now,  the Swoosh platform remains in beta, or test, mode. Nike plans a fuller launch next year. 


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