Sportswear giant and Web3 powerhouse Nike announced a collaboration with video game maker EA Sports on Thursday, with what appear to be planned digital collectibles of Nike-branded gear via the .Swoosh platform that will be integrated into future EA games.
While there’s been no mention of the word “NFTs” thus far, .Swoosh is Nike’s Web3 platform that was announced last year and is currently in closed beta. It’s built on Polygon, an Ethereum scaling network, and currently only offers up NFT collectibles in the form of digital sneakers and membership cards.
In an announcement post, Nike said that it’s working with the sports video game publisher to “make select .Swoosh virtual creations available” in upcoming EA Sports games. The two sports brands will “build new immersive experiences” with an emphasis on customization, according to the post.
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) June 1, 2023
The teaser video above shows Nike-branded football and soccer gear, along with an image of a .Swoosh NFT collectible showcasing a football helmet.
According to the .Swoosh website, Nike "[refers] to tokens as Nike virtual creations, which include digital sneakers, apparel, accessories, and other collectibles you can wear in games or redeem for access to exclusive products, events, and more."
“Nike and EA Sports share a commitment to innovation, creativity, and excellence, and we are thrilled to partner with them,” Ron Faris, GM of Nike Virtual Studios, said in a statement. “This partnership will allow us to unlock some incredible new experiences for our .Swoosh community and the massive EA Sports fan base.”
Andrea Hopelain, SVP of Brand for EA Sports & Racing, added that the publisher aims to "bring creativity and self-expression to the forefront for fans as they connect, compete, and share their love for sport."
Little else has been publicly revealed about the collaboration so far, but Nike said that more information on its work with EA Sports will be shared “in the coming months.”
EA Sports is a division of game publisher Electronic Arts, home to game franchises like Apex Legends, The Sims, and Battlefield. EA Sports has released sports games with the Madden NFL, FIFA, NHL, and NASCAR brands since its inception in 1991.
Despite being closed to the general public, .SWOOSH released its first NFT collection on its platform last month, selling over 92,000 NFTs. The Our Force 1 launch began with an NFT airdrop, and then sold digital shoe boxes that “open” into digital sneakers.
Nike has seen immense financial success from its NFT releases thus far, gaining over $186 million in total revenue since December 2021 according to a dashboard from Dune Analytics.
Most of that revenue has come from RTFKT, the Web3 startup it acquired that created CloneX NFTs with artist Takashi Murakami, as well as NFT-based Nike CryptoKicks and exclusive physical sneakers that can only be purchased via redeemable NFTs. NBA legend LeBron James was recently spotted wearing a pair before a playoff game.
Nike and EA Sports did not immediately respond to Decrypt’s request for comment.