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Nike’s Dot Swoosh Web3 Platform: Doubling Down on NFTs

This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.

Nike recently launched .SWOOSH or Dot Swoosh, a web3 platform that will host Nike’s NFT collections, i.e., virtual sneakers, apparel, and more.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

Entering the NFT World: Nike x RTFKT

Before we get into Nike’s most recent project, Dot Swoosh, let’s back up a bit to when Nike’s NFT journey first started.

Nike made its big entrance into web3 back in December 2021 when the company announced the acquisition of RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”), a virtual sneaker company with a history of popular NFT collections. That was also the time when the NFT market was at its high.

According to the President and CEO of Nike, “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.”

MNLTH Collaboration

The RTFK acquisition resulted in a successful collaboration on Nike’s first NFT collection — MNLTH. It was released in early 2022 in the form of an NFT mystery box and had a retail price of around $15,000. It immediately got the attention of sneakerheads from around the world and marked a new age of collecting sneakers.

Next Step — Dot Swoosh

After the Nike x RTFKT collaboration, the NFT market plummeted. It’s safe to say that the popularity of non-fungible tokens is waning.

However, despite all that, Nike recently doubled down on NFTs by launching a new web3 platform called .SWOOSH (Dot Swoosh or dotSwoosh) in November 2022. It’s currently in closed beta phase, but users can join a waitlist.

This move tells us Nike is playing the long game and trusts that market fluctuations are only temporary and that the future of NFTs is bright.

Here’s more about the new platform.

What Is Nike’s Dot Swoosh?

Dot Swoosh is the home for all Nike’s virtual creations, i.e., NFTs and it lives on Polygon, a blockchain platform.

Furthermore, Nike’s Dot Swoosh is a community-focused web3 platform, led by Nike VP Ron Faris, that lets users:

  • create and trade Nike’s virtual creations (including sneakers, apparel, accessories, and wearables for games)
  • collect and display Nike NFTs
  • show off Nike’s NFTs as wearables in blockchain games or metaverses
  • get access to exclusive drops and content
  • collaborate with other members
  • co-create with Nike

According to Nike’s website, the company’s mission is to use new technologies to move boundaries. “Sports and culture are evolving, so we want to build a future that’s creative, inclusive, and brimming with unlimited possibilities for everyone.”

The first Dot Swoosh collection will launch soon, in January 2023. Presumably, the platform will become available to everyone around that time.

Dot Swoosh vs. RTFKT: What’s the Difference?

You might be wondering what’s the difference between Dot Swoosh and RTFKT.

While the two projects are similar and use the same technologies, they’re different experiences. Furthermore, the key differences lie in the type of audience they’re targeting.

Even before Nike acquired it, RTFKT was the leader in the virtual sneaker space. It attracts mostly seasoned NFT collectors and web3 natives.

Dot Swoosh, on the other hand, is looking to introduce NFTs to a mass audience. Its focus is on educating the web3 curious people who don’t have much experience in the NFT space. The goal is to make the experience of purchasing and trading NFTs as simple as possible.

However, according to Nike’s website, there will be some collaborations between Dot Swoosh and RTFKT.

Do Virtual Sneakers Have Utility?

At first glance, the idea of virtual sneakers, i.e., a pretty picture of shiny sneakers, doesn’t sound that attractive to most people. While it can hold a certain value as a collectible item people can trade, it’s fairly useless beyond that.

However, Nike VP Ron Feris, claims that Nike’s virtual collectibles will have utility in the real world that comes with it. This is where the real value lies.

For example, by purchasing a Nike NFT, users might get access to preorder a physical sneaker, get access to private events, unlock exclusive content, have a say in a new Nike design, or use virtual sneakers in blockchain games.

Is Nike Profiting from NFTs?

If you’re wondering whether Nike’s entrance into the NFT space was worth it, the simple answer is — yes.

According to Dune, an NFT analytics platform, Nike is the brand with the highest earnings from NFTs. It has earned $185 million from NFTs (revenue includes CloneX sales and royalties pre-acquisition).

That’s a big number, especially if we compare it to other brands on this list. For example, Dolce & Gabbana is second on this list but has earned $23 million from NFTs. Nike’s main competitor, Adidas, earned only $11 million.

This data tells us that Nike is the leader in the virtual sneaker and apparel space. With Dot Swoosh, Nike is aiming to solidify that position.

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