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Nike Has Acquired RTFKT

Milestone Date: December 13, 2021


In December 2021, the world’s largest sports brand, Nike, Inc., announced its acquisition of RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”), a Web3 brand that has been on a mission to merge the virtual the physical worlds with blockchain-based collectibles, gaming, fashion, sneakers, and more.

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The acquisition was announced in a public release posted by Nike’s newsroom on December 13, 2021. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, although the startup was previously valued at US$33.3 million by Andreessen Horowitz in May 2021.

RTFKT was founded in 2020 by Benoit Pagotto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev – three friends who originally met working for an esports team. The team utilized the latest technologies across game engines, blockchain, NFTs, augmented reality, and NFC-chipped phygital goods to produce highly-exclusive and sought-after products and experiences.

Since its founding, RTFKT has established itself as a creator-led organization, providing opportunities for fans and supporters to co-create with the brand and its tools, products, and intellectual property (IP). At the time of purchase, RTFKT was one of the top-trending NFT projects. The brand had a previously successful sneaker drop in collaboration with notable artists and an avatar collection with Takashi Murakami, CloneX, which generated US$100 million in trading sales in just the first month.

“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,” said John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc.

Just weeks before this investment, the sports giant filed seven different trademarks for the creation of virtual Nike goods and NFT sales.

“This is a unique opportunity to build the RTFKT brand and we are excited to benefit from Nike’s foundational strength and expertise to build the communities we love,” said Pagotto. “Nike is the only brand in the world that shares the deep passion we all have for innovation, creativity, and community, and we’re excited to grow our brand, which was fully formed in the metaverse.”

By Sophie Waldman

Published:March 26, 2024



Sportswear Giant Nike Purchases NFT Fashion and Collectibles Startup RTFKT


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