- Nike is teaming up with Roblox to create a virtual world called Nikeland.
- Users will be able to dress up their avatars in Nike-branded sneakers and apparel.
- Nickeland will be free for now, but may be the place to try new products and gauge consumer interest.
Sports giant Nike has jumped into the metaverse.
The Beaverton, Oregon, company announced Thursday that it is partnering with Roblox to create a virtual world called niceland On the online gaming platform of Roblox.
The virtual world includes Nike buildings, arenas, and arenas for players to compete in a variety of mini-games, from tag and dodgeball to “The Floor Is Lava”. It is modeled after the real life headquarters of the company. Nickeland will be free (for now).
The company plans to eventually integrate in-play moments that simulate global sporting events. Examples might include football events during the World Cup or flag football games during the Super Bowl. Nike said it will continue to update the virtual world to include athlete and product integrations.
People with accelerometers in their mobile devices will be able to use real-world movements to drive their online games. For example, you can move your body in a jumping motion and it will translate into the virtual world to enhance the experience.
Users will be able to enter a digital showroom to dress up their avatar in everything Nike and check out the company’s latest product offerings. Items may be modeled after real-life Nike products offered or from previous launches. Nike could tease future products or allow kids to co-create them.
As the metaverse has come to the fore, companies like Nike see value in its ability to connect with a new generation of athletes and make them fall in love with the brand, which can eventually translate into real-world sales.
Sam Poser, an analyst covering Nike at Williams Trading, said he sees Nickland as a success not only as a way to introduce the brand to kids early, but as a testing ground for the brand for information and use. Huh. He imagines it being used as a way for Nike to try out new products to see what sticks.
“If they know a group of kids are wearing it on Nickeland, they’ll bring it into the physical world,” Poser said.
This isn’t Nike’s first launch with Roblox. The pair parted ways together in 2019 Nike Air Max Day.
Nike has been quietly preparing for the metaverse, recently filing a number of new trademarks indicating its intention to create and sell virtual Nike-branded sneakers and apparel.
This move should not be surprising. CEO John Donahoe previously served as chief executive of eBay and Service Now, and was brought in last year with a mission to transform the company. Many expected him to tap into his technological roots.
As Nike acutely feels the effects of the pandemic-related supply chain complexities over the past year, the digital remains a bright spot for the company as consumer habits change.
CFO Matt Friend said during the company’s latest earnings call, “Digital is rapidly becoming a part of everyone’s shopping journey, and we are well positioned to reach our vision of a 40%-owned digital business by fiscal year 2025.” deployed from.”