Why Nike Should Sell Digital Shoes

After months of checking the Nike SNKRS app, I finally bought my first pair of Air Jordan 1 sneakers. It took a lot of resilience and patience. But I finally got them! While holding the shoe, I thought about how there are a hundred versions of this shoe in different colorways with varying degrees of popularity. This concept of taking a standard silhouette and creating unique versions reminded me of Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych and, more recently, some popular NFT projects, such as CryptoPunks, CryptoKitties, and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Then an idea hit me like a bolt of lightning! Nike could sell crypto-collectibles of their shoes!

Think about it! Nike could drop an NFT project of Air Jordan 1 sneakers. These NFTs would be algorithmically created, each having a completely unique colorway. I could see these NFTs selling out immediately and going for much higher prices than the actual shoes themselves. No different than the physical shoes, people will assign value to different colorways. The only difference is the commodity itself. Instead of a shoe, it’s a jpeg. The reason it will sell out is because of the brand. That swoosh is what gives the commodity enormous value. Not to mention humans are predicated on communicating with other humans. They need things to social signal.

Thanks to blockchain technology, we can now verify the ownership of digital assets. This technological breakthrough opens the door to the reality of buying and selling digital assets for the first time ever! (Not to be confused with buying downloadable files). We’re talking about a billion-dollar industry that a majority of brands haven’t tapped into yet.

Nike (along with every other business) would be wise to go beyond just selling physical assets. All businesses, especially those with extensive intellectual property, should take advantage of the NFT space. OpenSea, which is a peer-to-peer NFT marketplace, generated more revenue than Etsy last month. That alone should be a clear indication of what is to come.

Right now, the NFT space is like the internet in the 90s — this is just the beginning. We still haven’t seen the world’s greatest intellectual properties (Disney, NFL, Nike) enter space properly, but that day will come!

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