Nike’s first collection of virtual sneakers, Cryptokicks, has sold over 66,000 NFTs so far, but technical and traffic issues have marred the launch.
The sportswear giant Nike has entered the NFT market with its first collection of virtual sneakers called Cryptokicks.
The collection comprises 106,453 NFTs, including one the artist Takashi Murakami designed. The price of each NFT is $19.82, a reference to the year the Air Force 1 sneaker was introduced.
The sale of the highly-anticipated Nike virtual creations was initially slated to begin on May 8, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the release date has been moved back to May 15.
The “First Access” round of sales was exclusively available to select users who received airdropped “posters” via airdrop that granted them early access. Nike distributed a total of 106,453 posters to its earliest .SWOOSH community members.
Following the First Access sale, the “General Access” sale commenced on May 24, two weeks later than initially planned. This phase aimed to sell any remaining NFTs from the inventory of 106,453.
As of Thursday afternoon, Polygonscan reported that over 66,000 NFTs had been sold, generating approximately $1.3 million in sales. The sale will run through June 1.
Technical Challenges Mar Nike’s NFT Sneaker Launch
Despite the promising sales figures, the launch faced multiple delays and technical challenges, leading to frustration among eager buyers.
Nike acknowledged that technical and traffic issues were responsible for the delays, causing an arduous purchasing process for users. Nike provided updates indicating that sales were slower than anticipated.
Unlike physical sneaker releases, where popular models often sell out within minutes, over a third of the OF1 NFTs were still available for purchase.
The First Access sale on May 15 experienced repeated delays and website crashes, resulting in a turbulent minting experience that lasted for several hours.
Nike is well-known for its expertise in releasing limited-edition collectibles, so users expected a more streamlined release process.
The First Access sale was subsequently extended due to ongoing tech issues, leading to a delay in the General Access sale. Despite the extension, a significant number of OF1 boxes remained unsold.
Technical glitches and traffic issues plagued the General Access sale, with some users reporting being charged for NFTs they did not receive.
.SWOOSH explained that an unforeseen error had disrupted the minting process, causing delays and blocking additional purchases.
Nike’s NFT Sneakers Show Demand for Digital Collectibles
However, Nike’s.SWOOSH Web3 platform celebrated over 55,000 OF1 boxes sold to more than 30,000 unique buyers on May 25. Nike staff commended .SWOOSH for effectively managing the high traffic volume.
The success of Nike’s NFT sneaker collection demonstrates the growing interest in digital collectibles and the potential of NFTs in fashion and sportswear.
While technical hurdles marred the launch, the enthusiasm of buyers and the significant sales figures indicate the enduring appeal of Nike’s brand and the allure of limited-edition virtual items.
Late in 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT (pronounced “artifact”), a Web3 studio that specializes in digital apparel and NFTs. RTFKT has collaborated with Nike on previous Ethereum-based digital NFT sneakers called CryptoKicks.
RTFKT is not overseeing the .SWOOSH project but is aiding Nike as it expands further into Web3.
Nike will mint its NFT apparel on Polygon, an Ethereum sidechain network that offers faster and cheaper transactions than the Ethereum mainnet.
Nike is one of the most influential and prominent players in the fashion and sportswear industry. Its entry into the NFT market signals a new digital collectibles and virtual apparel era.