Say what you will about Nike’s “Our Force 1” NFT drop, but at least it’s an ethos… an ethos that they can’t seem to find enough customers to buy into.
Originally slated for a May 8th drop, the first product release from Nike was delayed a week from its original release. The digital blind boxes from the long-promised .SWOOSH platform were delivered to some wallet holders on May 15th, and access to purchase made available soon after.
And then… they.. just… sat.
Emails have been flooding into early adopter inboxes to purchase multiple packs of the some 87,000 available. “There are 600K registered .SWOOSH users and each had an opportunity to mint 4x,” said analyst Michael Miraflor on Twitter. “I just expected the supply to go a lot quicker.”
Perhaps the reason is that nobody knows what the actual f*** it does. The roll-out of .SWOOSH has been sloth-like at best, with the earliest accounts established in fall of 2022. For $19.82, you get a picture of a rusty shoe box.
No, I’m not joking. This is it:
What the team has failed to deliver in substance, they’ve made up for in endless promises. Open panels, 1-1 sessions, influencer messaging, and press tours. And now delays, sitting inventory, and questions about what the future holds — or if there will be a future at all?
An unfair comparison would be Adidas’ lightning-quick move into the NFT space in 2021. Their partnership with Yuga Labs in December of 2021 net them $22M on 29,000 minted tokens. Different market at a different time, sure. But moving quickly allowed them to capitalize on the craze of the moment, which now draws a stark contrast to Nike’s move that same week — the acquisition of RTFKT, a 3D fashion company with an NFT community.
In the seventeen months hence, one can only imagine that the Swoosh team was deep into an integration of RTFKT team into its own culture. The bright minds in Beaverton spent months in strategy, planning, and community development. But they missed the metaverse market moment, and this rollout feels more “too little, too late” than it does a glimpse of the future.
Whatever the future may hold for Nike, the present looks a bit like a rusty shoe box.
Today is the last day of Nike’s fiscal year, ending May 31.
P.S. The Infinite Shelf ladies are unpacking hard truths about the state of DTC today. Don’t have time for a podcast? Watch their Youtube Shorts over on our channel.
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