Sneakers in the Metaverse?
The platform’s initial emphasis will be on fostering community, and it will give users “challenges” to gauge their preferences. The company’s first virtual line of footwear, clothing, and accessories will debut on Swoosh in January 2023 and be influenced by interactive voting and other processes. Following that, members will be able to acquire and exchange these digital-only goods; the platform will not use cryptocurrency but rather cash, though all transactions will be recorded on the Polygon chain.
Virtual apparel from brands is nothing new, but Nike hinted that Swoosh’s community challenges would expand the following year to include competitions where participants could win the chance to co-design virtual Nike products with the brand’s designers and receive a cut of the royalties.
But before aspiring sneaker designers get too giddy, the specifics of how this creator economy will function—the selection procedure, the nature of design collaborations, the percentage of sales that each person will receive, and the legal frameworks that will be in place to guarantee codesigners receive compensation—are incredibly vague.
A Safe and Trusted Space
The purpose of Nike’s domain, according to the company, is to ensure a “safe, trusted space” where metaverse users can amass virtual objects, such as “virtual shoes or jerseys.” What is evident is that Nike’s ultimate ownership and control of activities will be protected by the competition structure, just as they were with the branded domain. This doesn’t exactly fit with the decentralized Web3 ethos. The brand’s stated goal is for the virtual products released on Swoosh to become wearable on and off the platform, even though there won’t be any avatars at the time of launch.
Nike may be building its own virtual world by releasing Swoosh, eliminating the need for external platforms. Clients of MS Squared, a division of Improbable that creates a metaverse for other companies, are required to guarantee that all of the company’s virtual spaces are interoperable.