December 13th was a big day for the NFT space as Nike confirmed that it had purchased the digital shoemaker RTFKT. This groundbreaking news proves that NFTs are going mainstream – but is that a good thing for the innovative startup?
Today, we’ll list all of the pros and cons, but first, let’s get all the information straight.
Nike has just purchased RTFKT. What now?
When iconic companies such as Nike and Pepsi start investing in a certain sector, you know things have gotten serious. Of course, RTFKT has some record-breaking achievements under its belt too; after all, they’ve sold $3.1 million worth of NFT sneakers in just 6 minutes this fall. However, many are still raising their eyebrows when it comes to the NFT market – so why would a legend such as Nike join this frenzy?
One of the reasons seems to be growing the company’s digital presence – or that’s what the Nike CEO, John Donahoe, says:
“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. 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.”
Truth be told, Nike did make a great entrance on the NFT scene via RTFKT. It’s definitely more surprising than its rival IRL, Adidas. The company closed its own deals with Coinbase and The Sandbox back in November.
But is it good for RTFKT too?
The NFT community is still debating the answer.
How does the Nike ownership change RTFKT (and the market)?
As soon as Nike confirmed its latest purchase, RTFKT co-founder Benoit Pagotto released his own statements:
“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,” he said.
Cool as it may seem, this announcement somewhat shook the NFT market. Nike is undoubtedly reigning over the sports shoe industry, but it doesn’t have any expertise in terms of NFTs. What’s more, this practice might lead to a so-called institutionalization of digital assets – a concept that goes against the idea of decentralization.
It’s something that giant Twitter NFT influencers like Zeneca_33 pointed out too:
However, some community members highlighted the bright side of the deal:
“I think this is a smart move by Nike instead of just getting your cringe Web2 marketing people to have a go at it. They are adding actual experience in the space,” says Twitter NFT collector Securitron.eth.
From this point of view, Nike has definitely chosen one of the most innovative NFT-focused companies to date. From AR to 3D design and blockchain authentication, RTFKT combines every new tech for its outstanding projects.
Could it be the start of something good?
After all, if you’re joining a new market, it’s better to have a team of experts by your side, right? A quick look at this year’s NFT collections proves that one can easily fail when joining the trend, even giant brands or celebrities. Does anybody remember how Lindsay Lohan’s cringe-worthy Canine Cartel NFT project collab?
In fact, hopping on the NFT train as a renowned brand (or public person) is twice as difficult as being a John Doe. This theory was proven by Pepsi, which received criticism (to say the least!) by trying to use “NFT language” on Twitter:
With this in mind, having Nike purchase RTFKT might just be the beginning of a beneficial collaboration. While Nike makes its NFT debut on the right track, the RTFKT team gets plenty of support for progress. As a result, there will probably be more valuable projects for us!
In the end, though, only time will tell whether