Everything You Need to Know About Nike's .SWOOSH

Everything You Need to Know About Nike's .SWOOSH

Nike made major headlines on Nov. 14 announcing its new web3 platform ".SWOOSH," a new digital community and experience.

This is a major move for the retailer and shows the importance and critical role that blockchain and NFTs will play in Nike's digital transformation plans.

However, a move like this raises a lot of questions, which we'll seek to answer in this post, including:

What Is Nike's .SWOOSH?

Nike's .SWOOSH will be a platform for all of Nike's virtual creations, including a marketplace to buy and trade virtual collectibles (i.e. digital shoes or jerseys) as well as a membership layer via its own domain "swoosh.nike."

The Nike virtual creations will serve as interactive digital wearables, to be worn in video games or other immersive experiences (to be announced soon).

The platform will exist on the Polygon blockchain, and it will have both payment and custodial wallet functionality. The payment rails will be powered by Stripe (with all transactions executed in the user's local currency), and the custodial wallet or "safe" will be powered by BitGo. The BitGo wallet will only hold virtual creations (NFTs) and not any digital currencies.

Nike's vision for the platform is to start as the home for collectors to hold their favorite virtual shoes, jerseys, or accessories, but over time it wants to be a place for community co-creation. Nike will help facilitate and encourage community members to help "create the future alongside us," with select creators even able to earn royalties on their virtual products.

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How Can I Join .SWOOSH?

To use the .SWOOSH platform, all users will need a .SWOOSH ID. This ID will be the token that enables future activity on the platform. 

For now, the site is in a closed beta phase, thus only those who have been sent an invite access code will be able to register.

Friday, Nov. 18, will be the first official day for public registration via the welcome.swoosh.nike website. Users who are lucky enough to get an access code will be able to select a .SWOOSH handle and set up their accounts at that time. Everyone else will be added to a waitlist.

Access codes will also be available via IRL community events as well as through interacting on the .SWOOSH website.

Nike's initial focus is in the North American geography along with select European countries, but it will expand over time. It is also following its diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in its user prioritization efforts.

When Is .SWOOSH Launching?

The program technically launched on Nov. 14th as described in Nike's "Day 1" blog post.

But the rough rollout timeline for the registration, first products, and the marketplace is as follows:

  • Nov. 18, 2022 - Initial public registration
  • Dec. 2022 - Hosting of several community events in December, across different cities
  • Jan. 2023* - Launching the first collection and opening the marketplace

That means a lot is potentially happening fairly soon.

With that said, Nike seems to be making a point of moving slowly in this rollout, so set expectations accordingly. While Jan. 2023 was mentioned during a Twitter Spaces with the team on Nov. 14th, recent blog materials speak more vaguely around a launch "sometime in the New Year."

Safety and security appear to be of the utmost importance to the onboarding experience, and there will be IRL events focused on education (not solely focused on security principles in web3) and virtual design mechanics.

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How Does .SWOOSH Impact RTFKT?

RTFKT NFT owners should not plan to benefit much from the .SWOOSH launch, directly.

The RTFKT team shared on Twitter that Clone X holders will get access to the .SWOOSH ID, and Nike releases will be Clone digital wearables. Other than that, RTFKT NFT owners will not have much of an edge over the general public, and this is by design.

During a Rug Radio Twitter Spaces on Nov. 14, RTFKT co-founders Zaptio (@zaptio) and Benito (@benitopagotto) described how the two projects fit alongside each other.

RTFKT will be the premium web3 brand in the Nike ecosystem, for more advanced users. RTFKT will be able to move faster and be more agile in its products.

The .SWOOSH platform and its virtual products will be for the "web3 curious," offering products at more accessible price points, and it will move slowly by design to ensure time for appropriate education and safety in onboarding.

Benito went on to use a Star Wars analogy in comparing the two brands, calling RTFKT the Millenium Falcon (faster, more agile) and NVS the Star Destroyer (more firepower).

Why Is Nike Building .SWOOSH?

The .SWOOSH platform is showcasing how Nike is evolving via digital transformation. The company is making a bet that digital wearables will be an important part of Nike's product future.

.SWOOSH is also a new way to build community and change the customer journey. With physical products, the customer journey ends at the point of sale. With digital products and web3, the customer journey BEGINS at the point of sale. The team has hinted at select utility for virtual products, including concepts like unlocking physicals, providing conversations with designers, and even input into the design.

In the Rug Radio spaces, it was mentioned that brands will enter a new space when they realize an innovation can deepen or reshape relations with fans. Nike clearly sees web3 as this kind of innovation, enabling it to enhance its community.

The Nike team also made a very strong point about their focus on inclusivity and accessibility in this program launch, versus some existing notions of collectibles focusing on scarcity and exclusivity. This is also clearly an important goal of the program.

"The race to the future doesn't have a front-runner; it's a shared experience," reads the Day 1 blog post. 

Who Is Building .SWOOSH?

Nike Virtual Studios (NVS) is the team behind .SWOOSH. NVS is a new division at Nike and has been designed to "bring Nike into the future through the lens of web3, blockchain, and metaverse," according to Head of Division Ron Faris. Along with that vision, the group aims to be accessible and create an "inclusive community."

The team includes 45 individuals across functions such as engineering, data science, design, and legal, and spans several different geographies.

The Nike team on the Day 1 Rug Radio spaces included Masooma (Partnerships for NVS), Lucian Dickson (Head of Community for NVS), and the aforementioned Ron Faris.

The RTFKT team, led by Benito, Zaptio, and ClegFX, is working with NVS throughout the rollout to "onboard the next millions to web3."

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Where Can I Find More Info on .SWOOSH?

There are a few ways to follow along for more information.

First, the NVS team launched a new Instagram handle on Nov. 14 (@dotswoosh), with the goals of fun and community building.

There platform's primary website, welcome.swoosh.nike, is where registration will occur and users can find FAQs.

And finally, blog.swoosh.nike, is home to announcements on all future activations, collections, visions, and more. 

Don't have time to tackle all those sources? Download the Lucky Trader App and be notified anytime something new happens with .SWOOSH. 

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