In a metaverse push, Nike acquires RTFKT, a virtual sneaker company.

Nike said on Monday that it has purchased virtual sneaker developer RTFKT for an unknown fee, as the sportswear behemoth seeks to quickly extend its impact in the rapidly expanding “metaverse.”

Nike was one of the first major companies to embrace the shared virtual environment that exploded in popularity when Facebook renamed itself as Meta Platforms last month. People can purchase virtual land, as well as other digital goods such as apparel for avatars in such blockchain-based ecosystems using a crypto-asset, termed a non-fungible token (NFT).

According to its website, RTFKT was founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev and also produces NFT souvenirs and memes.

“This purchase represents yet another step forward in Nike’s digital transformation, allowing us to serve athletes and artists at the nexus of sport, creativity, gaming, and culture,” said Nike CEO John Donahoe in a statement.

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