Why Nike Should Sell Digital Shoes

Aaron Smet
2 min readNov 29, 2021

After months of monitoring the Nike SNKRS app, I finally purchased my first pair of Air Jordan 1 sneaker. It required a lot of persistence and patience, but I finally got them! As I held the shoes, I pondered how there are countless variations of this shoe with different color schemes and levels of popularity. This idea of taking a basic design and creating unique versions reminded me of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych and, more recently, popular NFT projects such as CryptoPunks, CryptoKitties, and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Suddenly, a thought struck me like lightning! Nike could sell crypto-collectibles of their shoes!

Imagine it! Nike could release an NFT project featuring Air Jordan 1 sneaker. These NFTs would be algorithmically generated, each possessing a completely exclusive color scheme. I could envision these NFTs selling out immediately and commanding much higher prices than the physical shoes themselves. Similar to physical shoes, people would assign value to different color schemes. The only difference is the product itself. Instead of a shoe, it’s a digital image. The reason it will sell out is due to the brand. That swoosh is what adds tremendous value to the product. Additionally, humans rely on communicating with others. They require items for social signaling.

Thanks to blockchain technology, we can now validate the ownership of digital assets. This technological advancement paves the way for the possibility of purchasing and selling digital assets for the first time ever! (This should not be mistaken for buying downloadable files). We’re referring to a billion-dollar industry that the majority of businesses have yet to tap into.

Nike (as well as every other company) would be wise to expand beyond selling physical goods. All businesses, particularly those with extensive intellectual property, should make use of the NFT market. Last month, OpenSea, a peer-to-peer NFT marketplace, generated more revenue than Etsy. This fact alone should provide a clear indication of what is to come.

Currently, the NFT space is comparable to the internet in the 90s — this is only the beginning. We have yet to see the world’s greatest intellectual properties (such as Disney, NFL, and Nike) properly enter the space, but that day will come!

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Aaron Smet

I write articles about Tesla, SpaceX, and Elon Musk.