Sportswear manufacturer Nike has always been at the forefront of digital transformation. Artificial intelligence (AI), e-commerce and in-store experiential technology have been an integral part of the brand’s strategy for many years. More recently, he decided to capitalize on the enthusiasm generated by new concepts such as the metaverse, NFTs and web3. Here’s a look at some of the ways Nike is leveraging these technologies to stay relevant and at the forefront of culture.
Nike and the Metaverse
Nikeland is Nike’s purpose-built metaverse space that uses the Roblox platform for its fans to meet, socialize, participate in promotions, and engage in a range of brand experiences.
“Metavers” is a term used to describe the new generation of platform-based virtual worlds, which users explore and interact with as avatars of themselves. Of course, there have always been virtual spaces where users can play games, chat, and socialize or work. What makes a metaverse environment different is that we can do any or all of these things, and more, within a persistent environment and set of rules.
According to Nike, 7 million visitors have spent time at Nikeland since its launch in November 2021. There, they were able to catch celebrity appearances from sports stars, including LeBron James, as well as purchase exclusive digital merchandise to decorate their avatars with . Items are not limited to Nikeworld and can be worn as their avatars travel to other Roblox environments, essentially turning visitors into digital brand ambassadors. They can also test their reactions and strategic skills with a number of games, with the possibility of winning even more products and rewards.
Each visitor to Nikeland also becomes the guardian of their own “backyard” – a personal space within Nikeworld that can be used to show off their collectibles and decorated to suit their personality.
Nike is leading the way when it comes to brands demonstrating that a “selling the lifestyle” ethos can work just as effectively in the digital world as it does in the real world. In this way, he managed to transplant his ability to cultivate an ambitious mindset into the virtual realm, both in terms of desirable and fashionable products that users can own and through competition, challenges and the ability to show high scores and achievements. This means this is a great demonstration of a brand that has aligned digital transformation with its existing identity and ideals.
Web3 and NFT
Nike was also very quick to capitalize on the NFT trend. These are tokens that live on a blockchain and can be used to create digital assets that are essentially unique and one-of-a-kind. While most digital assets (a JPG image or an MP3 song, for example) can be duplicated an infinite number of times, an NFT is a single piece of digital data that can be attached to any other digital asset, theoretically conferring this uniqueness on the item.
Nike demonstrated how interested it was in the idea of NFTs in December last year when it purchased RTFKT Studios, a maker of “next generation” NFT collectibles. It’s not hard to see the studio’s appeal to the sportswear maker when you learn that it managed to sell 600 pairs of NFT sneakers in just six minutes, for a total of $3.1 million. .
Nike’s first collection of NFT sneakers created in collaboration with RTFKT Studios is called CryotoKicks Dunk Genesis, and once they own them, users can customize them using “skin flasks”. These flasks can be created by different designers, adding special effects and patterns to the basic sneakers.
This indicates that Nike clearly understands the value of personalization for today’s consumers, especially young millennials and Gen Zers, many of whom value one-of-a-kind, one-of-a-kind or personalized items over identikit products produced online. series.
Nike’s latest adventures in digital transformation aren’t just limited to the virtual and digital worlds. Its real-world brick-and-mortar stores are also becoming showcases of the ways the brand is taking advantage of new technology.
At its New York flagship store, the idea is that encouraging users to engage and experience the brand through sport and technology is just as important as encouraging them to buy products. They can shoot hoops on the in-store baseball field, with cameras and video screens to capture and play back the highlights in real time. Or they can sweat it out on a treadmill that simulates running outdoors. They can also customize the shoes to their liking before buying them and get advice from trainers and coaches who are always available.
The key word here is experience. In a world where consumers say having a positive experience with a brand is more important than factors like price when it comes to making buying decisions, Nike hopes technology will create experiences of purchase and memorable entertainment that will create strong bonds between customers and the brand. This means they’ll be more likely to seek out the famous swoosh logo the next time they’re in the sporting goods market – of the real or virtual variety.
To stay up to date with the latest trends on the metaverse and broader business and technology trends, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and check out my new book, Extended Reality in Practice: 100+ Incredible Ways Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality are Changing Business and Society (which just won the Business Book of the Year 2022 in the Specialist Book category). And of course you can follow me on Twitter, LinkedInand Youtube and explore my website for more content.