Last Thursday, Nike unveiled a virtual world called 'Nikeland' on gaming platform Roblox. By doing so, the sports giant is one of the first big brands to enter the metaverse.
Nikeland is modelled after the actual headquarters of the Oregon-based company. Currently, visitors can play 'tag', 'dodgeball' and 'the floor is lava' on the platform, but they can also design mini-games of their own.
Nike eventually wants to integrate in-play moments during global sporting events such as the World Cup or the Super Bowl. The sports brand will continue to update the virtual world in include athlete and product integration, writes CNBC.
Nikeland also features a digital showroom, where users can dress up their avatar with a specific Nike outfit. It's a space where visitors can also discover the company's latest products.
Metaverse, a buzzword in the tech industry after Facebook renamed itself Meta, is a shared virtual world where people can interact with others through avatars, enjoy concerts and shop digitally.
The perfect test environment
For companies like Nike, the metaverse offers the opportunity to introduce the brand to children. Moreover, the digital world is the perfect testing ground for trying out new products. "If they know a bunch of kids are wearing it on Nikeland, then they will then come out with it in the physical world", explained Sam Poser, an analyst at Williams Trading.
The sportswear giant has been quietly preparing for the metaverse in recent months. Earlier this month, Nike filed several applications for new trademarks, with the intention of eventually selling virtual trainers and clothing.