Nike will join the Metaverse in 2022!

January 3, 2022 by
Frank Calviño
Photo by Grailify for Unsplash

The sports titan Nike has decided to inaugurate the global race for the metaverse with Nikeland, a virtual world that will double as e-commerce.  And although Nike is not the only major brand jumping into the Metaverse, Nike’s project seems to be the most fleshed-out of the lot. 

Nike is currently working with Roblox to launch this first virtual reality world, inside Roblox’s online gaming platform. This virtual world is expected to be available at some point in the summer of 2022. 

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Nike’s Metaverse will be entertainment-oriented  

Nikeland will include virtual reality replicas of Nike buildings as well as sports venues like fields and arenas for players to compete in various mini-games, ranging from tag and dodgeball to TikTok's sensational rendition of “The Floor Is Lava.” 

The virtual world will be modeled after the company’s real-life headquarters and access to Nikeland will be free, at least for now.  

A mix of games and shopping 

Nike is betting on a combination of entertainment and e-commerce. A risky move with the added complexity of not having been tested before by any major brand. 

Nikeland’s Metaverse will be massive in scale, using a single global online persistent environment using the Roblox platform and global server system. 

 ✔️  Nikeland will integrate in-play moments that emulate global sporting events. Examples may include a soccer event during the World Cup or a flag football game during the Super Bowl. ✔️ 

Nike bets on Metaverse and real-life integration 

For the sports brand, the idea is to create a state-of-the-art Metaverse. This means, to deliver a virtual world capable of providing interactions with the real world. And to do so, Nike is betting on integrating virtual interactions in its real-life products.   

People with accelerometers in their mobile devices will be able to use real-world movements to power their online play. For example, you can move your body in a jumping motion and it will translate in the virtual world to enhance the experience.

Nike won’t be alone in the Metaverse 

Nike won’t be the only major brand jumping into the Metaverse. H&M and Addidas have already announced their own Metaverse projects. 

H&M will follow the most traditional approach, by re-creating a physical store in an online 3D environment. This “virtual reality store” will be hosted inside CEEK City, a virtual reality shopping mall developed by CEEK, and although the clothing sold by H&M will initially have the particularity of being “virtual clothing” only wearable inside CEEK City, both CEEK and H&M have announced that those same virtual clothes, will be later sold - and could potentially be bought - in the real world. 

The Addidas idea, on the other hand, goes more in the line of exploiting the Web3 capabilities for e-commerce

Addidas has betted all its chips into creating and selling NFTs. These tokens will be valuable items that will double as a sort of discount coupon for a selection of Addidas real-life products.  With this, Addidas not only aims at capitalizing on the extremely buoyant market of NFTs but also channel new sales.  

Nike’s Metaverse was conceived as a sales channel 

One of the core concepts behind Nikeland will be to become a powerful future sales channel for the brand. But for its first versions, Nike’s Metaverse will not actively pursue lead generation or conversion. 

From a sales perspective, Nikeland's sales effort will be to offer the users the option to enter a digital showroom to dress their avatar with all kinds of real-life Nike products and check out the company’s latest designs. 

Another feature to bridge the real world with the virtual world, aiming at future sales, will be the possibility to customize virtual items allowing users to co-create future Nike designs that could even end up being produced. 

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