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Nike buys NFT collectibles studio as it picks up pace on metaverse dream

Nike buys NFT collectibles studio as it picks up pace on metaverse dream

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Nike has gained momentum in its metaverse bet by acquiring virtual sneaker startup RTFKT that creates NFT collectibles. The sportswear brand and RTFTK posted about the acquisition on their social media channels on 14 December. While the terms of the deal will not be disclosed, Nike president and CEO John Donahoe said in a statement that the acquisition will accelerate the brand's digital transformation and allow it to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture.

 “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," he added. 

Meanwhile, RTFTK said on its social channels that Nike is the only brand in the world it always looked up to and got inspired by when starting RTFKT. "We will continue to evolve our brand, innovations, products and community with Nike resources and talents," RTFKT added.

Established in 2020, RTFKT was founded by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le and Steven Vasilev and aims to "redefine the boundaries of physical and digital value" to serve its broad community of creators. RTFKT utilises the latest in game engines, NFTs, blockchain authentication and augmented reality to create one of a kind virtual products and experiences for its fans. 

Nike first started setting its bases for the metaverse last month, when it filed for several new trademarks, including "Nike" and its iconic slogan "Just Do It" on 27 October. A day later, it did the same for the "Jordan" brand name as well as Air Jordan and Jumpman logos. In the application, Nike said the trademarks will be used for "downloadable virtual goods" and "entertainment services". These include computer programmes featuring footwear, clothing, headwear, eyewear, as well as non-downloadable virtual footwear, clothing, headwear, and sports equipment.

Nike was also hiring virtual material designers to create and visualise innovative virtual material concepts using 3D tools. According to the job scope on Nike's website then, the role sits in the digital product creation group which is a team focusing on spearheading the digital and virtual revolution at Nike.

Meanwhile, on the electronics front, Intel has also unveiled its public strategy for tapping into the metaverse - a software that will enable laptops to tap into existing, unused computing power from other devices, including chips from competitor brands. As the metaverse continues to grow, it is expected that devices will take a toll from the spike in computing power needed, Intel said at the RealTime Conference on metaverse technologies on 13 December. 

According to Reuters, Intel chose to create a software that would solve technical challenges for users, as opposed to firms such as Nvidia, which makes chips and software used to construct the virtual world, and Qualcomm, which makes chips used in virtual reality headsets. Intel also added that the software is not being designed solely for generating revenue, hence it will be compatible with chips from Intel's competitors as well; Reuters reported. 

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