Nike, Inc. has announced the acquisition of RTFKT, a company specialized in creating virtual sneakers and able to deliver next generation collectibles that merge culture and gaming.






“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,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO, NIKE, Inc. “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.”  

  





Founded in 2020, by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT is a brand that aims to redefine the boundaries between physical and digital categories. Its dedicated team is expert in developing the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create new virtual products and experiences.

Digital sneakers created for the "a16z x RTFKT" collaboration
Photo: RTFKT
Digital sneakers created for the "a16z x RTFKT" collaboration
“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,” says Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders. “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.”






The founders of the start-up also commented: "We grew up playing Diablo, Half-life, Runescape, Minecraft, watching DBZ, Evangelion, Akira, Star Wars, collecting, trading and reselling Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards. We then designed luxury retail stores, made iconic esports moments, created logos for hip hop artists, directed movies and music videos, sold millions of CSGO and Dota skins, grew online communities to millions, disrupted fashion industries and created sneakers for legends."







The company also explained how within one only recent partnership with 18-year-old artist Fewocious it sold over US$3 million worth of digital sneakers in less than seven minutes.





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