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Nike acquires virtual sneaker creator RTFKT

NIKE, Inc. announced the acquisition of virtual sneaker and collectibles startup RTFKT on 13th December, moving deeper into the metaverse. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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Founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev, RTFKT is a brand that redefines the boundaries of physical and digital worlds to serve their broad community of creators. The team leverages the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences.

In February, the startup released several virtual sneaker designs in collaboration with the artist Fewocious and quickly made more than USD 3 million by selling more than 600 pairs reported Forbes.

“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 of NIKE, Inc.

“We are 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,” added Donahoe.

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“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” said Benoit Pagotto, one of RTFKT’s co-founders.