News Technology Media Telecoms

Nike’s RTKFT launches NFT ‘phygital’ sneaker collection, Cryptokicks iRL

RTFKT cryptokicks IRL

Nike-owned blockchain sneaker startup RTFKT Studios announced the launch of Cryptokicks iRL, a sneaker collection that brings to life RTFKT’s vision to merge the digital and physical worlds.

It builds on Nike CryptoKicks, a digital-only collection of customizable NFT  sneakers that was RTFKT’s first big sneaker release after Nike acquired it a year ago. Cryptokicks iRL is RTFKT’s first Web3 sneaker incorporating blockchain with smart technologies, including auto-lacing, enhanced lighting, haptic feedback, walk detection, and artificial intelligence algorithms.

Cryptokicks iRL will be limited to 19 000 pairs of sneakers and sold as digital collectibles with physical counterparts in four unique color combinations.

Looking at the brand strategy, Nike has been hugely successful with Nike Direct. Nike makes 42% of its revenues from its own physical and online stores. Enabling users to buy custom sneakers direct is a powerful way to pull users online, but that’s not new. Nike ID was launched in 1999 and was recently rebranded to Nike by You. But RTFKT’s Cryptokicks iRL are far trendier.

Coming back to the NFT drop, each collector will receive RTFKT’s WM Chip in order to link the digital and physical items. The draw to participate starts on December 7.

Bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds is especially essential for RTFKT to reach the average sneakerhead that may not be well-versed in NFTs. In addition, the physical goods solidify the hefty price tag associated with the NFTs, which range from $450 to $1333 in price.

Nike has overall made great strides in the web3 domain. This year, an NFT brand case study revealed that Nike was ahead of other brands in revenues from NFTs. More recently, the apparel giant announced the launch of .Swoosh, a blockchain-enabled platform and community ecosystem for web3-curious Nike consumers. The .Swoosh platform will allow members to learn, collect and co-create virtual apparel and related goods which can be worn in the metaverse.

Image Copyright: RTKFT