- Nike is delving deeper into virtual with the beta launch of a platform for virtual products and creations, the company said Monday. Registration to join .Swoosh begins in November and Nike will invite a larger group of individuals to join over the course of the year.
- The platform is enabled by Web3 — the concept of a new version of the internet based on blockchain — and allows Nike members to collect and co-create virtual objects like jerseys and shoes. Multiple reports said the platform will also allow trading, but Nike did not respond to requests for comment on the feature.
- Nike will launch a digital collection through the platform in 2023 that is based on customer input. The athletics retailer has developed a unique domain name for the effort, welcome.swoosh.nike, which it says will “ensure a safe, trusted space.”
Nike’s new Web3 effort pitches itself as a digital community, but it also serves as a marketplace of sorts for shoppers to collect and potentially trade virtual products.
Nike plans to debut digital collections on the platform, starting next year, which shoppers will be able to wear in digital games and experiences. A select number of loyalty members will also be able to design virtual items alongside Nike, and can earn royalties on the products they help create.
The athletics retailer is also pushing access to events and products in the real world as a benefit of the marketplace. Shoppers can get special access to physical products in some cases, and also receive invites to events, including “intimate conversations” with Nike athletes and designers.
Nike’s approach to growing the community emphasizes diversity, the retailer said. The company will invite members to join with a priority on local communities supported by Nike’s diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. That begins with the United States and select countries in Europe, and chosen members will also receive “skill-building” from Nike so they are “ready to participate.”
“The point: to expand the definition of sport — and serve its future — by democratizing the web3 experience so that everyone can collect, create and own a piece of this new digital world,” the retailer said in its release.
As the retail world and its consumer base have learned more about the metaverse, Nike and others have jumped into digital experiences. The retailer last year partnered with Roblox on an interactive space called Nikeland, which included a series of games as well as the ability to try on virtual gear. Roblox has been a popular starting point for brands looking to interact with an active group of young customers in a virtual setting. As marketing efforts in the space evolve, retailers are increasingly tying their virtual experiences to real-world benefits, including physical products, discount codes and event access.