Nike & RTFKT Studios
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Nike has a demonstrated proficiency at being a first mover in important use cases involving royalties so it’s no surprise that they’re at the forefront of the NFT push with their acquisition of RTFKT studios.
Top Nike alumni are blazing a trail at top NFT companies, like Evgeniy Medvedev, because, in many ways, Nike is an IP and marketing company, with a strategic understanding of the growth of potential platforms and players.
Nike lavished Tiger Woods with a $40,000,000 5-year deal in 1996, a time at which he established himself as the greatest amateur golfer since 1920’s era-Bobby Jones, but his dominance, for many, was by no means a foregone conclusion. Nike was meaningfully first to the party on Tiger the brand.
Phil Knight walked the 1996 U.S. Amateur in Portland, as a member of the gallery, and was sold his the potential of this young man to be a transcendent athlete in the way that Jordan had established the brand through his 1984 deal. So, Knight went in on Tiger in spectacular fashion and it paid off equally spectacularly.
RTFKT studios makes virtual sneakers and attire for the metaverse. These pieces of cyber apparel have royalty structures that circle substantial value back to RTFKT and their partner artists. This business model has proven itself incredibly power for artists, birthing the explosion of the #NFT movement, by providing resources for artists to further double down on themselves as creators.
Just as artists can use this royalty revenue to invest in promotion to trumpet their visual, audio, or whatever the medium of expression they’ve chosen, Nike can use the royalty resources to continue to pay the top artists and influencers to partner with their behemoth of a brand.