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Nike acquires virtual fashion start-up RTFKT

Jeremy Lim
14 December 2021

Nike took its next step into the metaverse following the acquisition of RTFKT, a NFT Fashion and Collectibles startup that "leverages cutting edge innovation to deliver next generation collectibles which merge culture and gaming".

Founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT has made a name for itself designing and creating sneakers and collectibles that redefine the boundaries of physical and digital value among the community of creators. Earlier this year, the creative studio teamed up with digital artist Fewocious to release three NFT sneakers, raising $3.1 million in seven minutes.

The company's expertise in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality will help extend Nike's digital footprint and capabilities. The terms of the acquisition were not be disclosed.

John Donahoe, 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.

"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."

Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders said: "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.

"Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand which was fully formed in the metaverse."

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