‘Sport Is Evolving’: Nike Leaps Into The Web3 Space With .SWOOSH

Nike is a titan of the sportswear industry and one of the one of the most successful brands of all time: much of this acclaim is owed to Nike’s philosophy of constant innovation, particularly in its creation of new sneaker technologies. Now, the company aims to apply this inventive spirit to the digital sphere with its .SWOOSH venture, which it claims is a result of how sport is currently “evolving” to become more virtual.

Announced today as part of the first of a series of promotional blogs, .SWOOSH will reportedly utilise Web3 blockchain technology to create a platform that allows users to collect digital objects and accessories, such as virtual sneakers and outfits, which can be worn in video games and other “immersive experiences.”

The concept seems to be bare bones at the moment, but Nike asserts that it will continue to evolve and grow: they intend for the platform to become a community-based “home” for users to buy, trade and create virtual products. No doubt this will eventually involve some sort of NFT-based economy and marketplace.

This community focus seems to be at the heart of the .SWOOSH philosophy, with the blog espousing the importance of sociality.

“In this new game, we hope to make this ever-evolving digital world as accessible as possible for the holistic Nike community,” Nike said. “No matter where you’re from, you can tap into .SWOOSH to learn, build, and create.

“The only way we can level the playing field in this new game is together – because here’s the thing: the race to the future doesn’t have a front-runner; it’s a shared experience.”

Nike has also teased that users will be incentivised to co-create products with the sportswear brand through community challenges. .SWOOSH will feature challenges with unique design objectives for creators to tackle, and for those that win, Nike will pay the victors some of the royalties from the product.

It’s an ambitious endeavour, but Nike has positioned itself well to achieve success. In December 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT, a prominent NFT brand with an emphasis on sneakers and fashion, and in April this year, the two released CryptoKicks, a customisable NFT sneaker collection. These efforts have already started to bear fruit: in this year alone, Nike’s NFT projects have made over $185 million USD ($276 million AUD) in profits, effectively dominating the NFT product market. 

With strong Web3 infrastructure and NFT-based financial success, Nike is confident that .SWOOSH has potential to change sport in ways never before seen.

“Sport transcends beyond the courts, beyond the field,” Nike said. “New digital technologies powered by the blockchain – what many have dubbed “web3” – are breaking barriers so that players and fans from all walks of life have the opportunity to tap into their creative potential.

“This technology is allowing creators to express their ideas like never before, shape culture, and create new opportunities for themselves.”

.SWOOSH is currently in beta, but for users looking to get in early, sign-ups start on November 18th. The platform opens officially in 2023 with the release of the first collection and community challenges. 

Read more