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Nike sparks metaverse rumours with "Virtual Goods" trademarks filing

Jeremy Lim
03 November 2021

Nike Inc. appears to be preparing for its inception into the metaverse, after it filed trademarks for seven names, symbols and phrases "for use online and in online virtual worlds".

According to the filing from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the trademarks applications include two forms of the company’s “Swoosh” logo; the Jordan “Jumpman” and “Air Jordan” wings logo; the brand names Nike and Jordan, and the phrase “Just Do It” for downloadable goods in computer programs featuring footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, bags, sports bags, backpacks, sports equipment, art, toys and accessories for online use.

The move prompts further speculation of Nike's latest efforts in the virtual world, following Facebook’s announcement last week that it would rebrand to Meta, to create a metaverse where people can meet and connect within a computer-generated environment.

While Nike's exact metaverse plans are still unknown, the company has since posted job postings for “virtual material designer” roles, while former Director of Innovation Engineering, Andrew Schwartz has moved into a new role as director of metaverse engineering in September this year.

The job description said the Oregon-based company is actively seeking virtual material designers who can “play a key role in redefining our digital world” and usher Nike “into the metaverse” while “visualising new material concepts.”

The new trademarks for virtual goods mirror the Jordan brand's partnership with Fortnite in 2019, where in-game characters wore Nike-branded sneakers and Air Jordan 1 sneaker "skins" were available for in-game purchases.

Other fashion brands have made similar efforts in ushering the new era of NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens), digital assets which are now considered modern-day collectibles. Gucci and The North Face teamed up in a virtual collaboration with Pokemon Go!, while Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga partnered with online games League of Legends and Fortnite to launch in-game "skins" and capsule collaborations.

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