Nike Launches a Virtual Marketplace Experience, .SWOOSH
On Monday, Nike launched .SWOOSH, its new digital community and experience, the brand announced. The platform is a home for Nike virtual creations and uses blockchain-powered technology — or what many call “Web3” — to offer an inclusive, equitable place for athletes, creators, collectors and consumers to design and own the future of sport. Currently in beta, registration to join .SWOOSH begins this month. For the rest of the year, Nike will grow the platform by inviting in a diverse, equitable community, then launch its first digital collection — shaped by its members — in 2023.
Total Retail's Take: Nike is joining the ranks of innovative retailers daring to enter into a new virtual world on Web3. The .SWOOSH platform allows Nike members to collect and co-create virtual objects like jerseys and shoes. In the future, the platform will also allow members to trade virtual goods. The athletic brand is taking the risk to launch on Web3 in order to expand the definition of sport — and serve its future — by democratizing the Web3 experience so that everyone can collect, create and own a piece of this new digital world, the company stated.
Offering goods via Web3 enables Nike to connect directly with its consumers instead of through third parties, since the decentralized web is built on peer-to-peer networks. This approach meets consumers wherever they play and shop sport and offers a gateway into a new digital arena, says Ron Faris, general manager of Nike Virtual Studios. “We're shaping a marketplace of the future with an accessible platform for the Web3-curious," Faris noted. "In this new space, the .SWOOSH community and Nike can create, share and benefit together."
The rest of the retail industry will be watching to see how consumers respond and engage, as well as how Nike ties this new digital platform into its existing physical products and experiences.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.