THE ICONIC BRAND’S latest venture is a metaverse play called .Swoosh, a Web3-enabled platform where people will be able to buy its virtual products. It’s essentially a marketplace, which makes sense because the breathlessly hyped internet of the future is much like the internet of the present: dominated by commerce.
Swoosh exists on a domain named “.nike” and will be an experimental digital space for registered members. It’s currently in beta, and registration to join opens on November 18.
The platform will initially focus on community building and present members with “challenges” to get a sense of what they want to see. The brand’s first virtual collection—of footwear, apparel, and accessories—will launch on Swoosh in January 2023, shaped through activities such as interactive voting. Members will subsequently be able to collect and trade these digital-only products; the platform will use cash (USD), not cryptocurrency, though all transactions will be recorded on the Polygon chain.
Virtual clothing from brands is nothing new, but Nike has teased that Swoosh’s community challenges will expand next year to include competitions in which members can win a chance to codesign virtual Nike products with the brand’s designers and earn a percentage of royalties.
But before would-be sneaker designers get too excited, details on just how this creator economy will work—the selection process, how design collaborations will take place, what percentage of revenue will people receive, what legal frameworks will be in place to ensure codesigners get paid—are extremely vague.
Nike states that its domain exists to “ensure it is a safe, trusted space” where members can collect virtual creations, “such as virtual shoes or jerseys.” What seems clear is that the competition structure, as with the branded domain, will safeguard Nike’s ultimate ownership and oversight of activities, which doesn’t exactly chime with the decentralized Web3 ethos.