Months after debuting its .Swoosh Web3 community platform, footwear giant Nike is launching its first NFT drop there.
The collection, Our Force 1 (OF1), will consist of Polygon virtual sneaker NFTs designed to pay tribute to the iconic Nike Air Force 1 sneaker from 41 years ago. Two types will be available as a part of the drop: Classic Remix sneaker boxes, which contain virtual kicks riffing on Air Force 1 shoes released between 1982 and 2006, and New Wave boxes, which feature pairs designed in 2007 and later.
Scattered among Classic Remix boxes will be an undisclosed number of more unique, customized AF1s featuring a “nostalgic twist.” Similarly mixed in with New Wave boxes will be custom, expressive AF1s with a more “futuristic twist.”
All virtual sneaker boxes will cost $19.82 USD, a nod to the year of the Air Force 1’s debut. Nike will not accept payments for the NFTs in cryptocurrency.
Old sole, new story.
The #OurForce1 collection features digital renditions of AF1s past, present and future built for the next generation.
Nike’s first-ever virtual collection is inspired by the AF1 Low, a classic style remixed hundreds of times since it dropped in ‘82. pic.twitter.com/dlq65VNeAb
— .SWOOSH (@dotSWOOSH) April 17, 2023
There does not appear to be a set limit on the number of Our Force 1 NFTs that will be available to mint. Tomorrow, Nike will begin airdropping virtual AF1 posters—the key needed to unlock an OF1 box NFT—to randomly selected .Swoosh members. Those members will be able to begin minting OF1 boxes on May 8. Two days later, on May 10, the entire .Swoosh community will be able to purchase OF1 boxes.
By Nike’s count, there are currently over 330,000 .Swoosh members. Anyone is able to join the platform, at no cost.
Details about what exact pairs of virtual shoes eager holders will receive seem to have been kept intentionally vague.
In February, Nike announced that four virtual shoe designs envisioned by .Swoosh members had been selected to feature in the OF1 drop. Since then, Nike designers have worked with those community members to bring the designs to life on the blockchain. These fan co-created designs will also be randomly scattered among both types of boxes.
“We are exploring new ways to tell stories and create relationships while removing the barriers and limitations of physical product,” Ron Faris, GM of Nike Virtual Studios, said in a statement. “With more members choosing to express themselves across physical and digital worlds, .Swoosh is the marketplace of the future.”
In the near future, per Nike, the OF1 boxes will unlock additional utilities and benefits for holders, including access to exclusive physical products and experiences.
The OF1 collection is not Nike’s first foray into the digital sneaker business. Last spring, the company debuted CryptoKicks, Ethereum-based digital sneaker NFT wearables designed in collaboration with RTFKT, the NFT sneaker studio that Nike acquired in late 2021. Pairs of CryptoKicks, which were originally airdropped to holders of other rare RTFKT NFTs, quickly began fetching prices well over $14,000 on secondary markets.
Nike seems to be taking a more egalitarian approach here by offering so many OF1 NFTs at such a relatively low—and fixed—price point. That tactic, paired with the project’s element of community involvement, appears to be designed to prioritize community participation in .Swoosh, as opposed to generating quick returns in NFT revenue. In recent months, efforts by other major brands that appear solely interested in achieving the latter have backfired.