As brands dive deeper into virtual goods, Adidas on Wednesday created a new product category for virtual gear in an effort to accelerate its “community-based, member-first, open metaverse strategy.”
The new product category comes as Adidas releases its first non-fungible token collection of virtual wearables. The 16-piece Adidas Originals collection can be found at adidas.com/metaverse, according to a company release.
The clothing is designed specifically for virtual avatars, and each piece is interoperable with other virtual worlds and projects. “This means that the Adidas collection is able to respond and adapt to the metaverse environments being built, so that the ‘Virtual Gear’ is ready for all frontiers of Web3,” the company said.
Adidas is all-in on the metaverse.
“We’re laying down a marker in this new age of originality — one that unquestionably serves the community, heroes the purveyors and collectors of emerging style and culture, benefits the value creators, and supports the diversity of expression and utility that blurring virtual worlds has allowed us all to explore,” Vice President of the Adidas Three Stripes Studio, Erika Wykes-Sneyd, said in a statement. Wykes-Sneyd added that Adidas plans to “explore every viable utility, platform, and experience within Web3 to unlock new possibilities for our wearables, with a focus on tangible value and immutable utility for our community members.”
The NFT wearables collection, which went live Wednesday, includes limited-edition products from Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney and Punks Comics, and is available for purchase across “relevant NFT marketplaces.” Customers who own Adidas’ Capsule NFT Collection can choose to lose their Capsule NFT and receive a random one of the new wearables. In the future, holders of Adidas’ virtual wearables and compatible partner collections will have access to a tool that dresses their NFTs with Adidas wearables.
Adidas’ commitment to the metaverse and dedication of an entire product category to virtual goods comes just days after rival Nike launched .Swoosh, a marketplace to collect and eventually trade virtual goods. Nike will drop a digital collection on the platform in 2023 and will allow some customers to co-create products like jerseys and shoes. The efforts come as brands look for ways to tie metaverse efforts to revenue and experiment with connecting virtual goods to physical products.
“As a brand, Adidas has always been about exploring the edges of creativity and pushing the boundaries to find what’s beyond,” Nic Galway, senior vice president of creative direction for Adidas Originals, said in a statement. “But Web3 offers our designers and collaborators a new outlet to imagine, and reimagine, how our brand can be represented in augmented and virtual worlds.”