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Picture this: a virtual sneaker sale, hosted by none other than the global footwear titan, Nike. And not just any sale, but a ground-breaking, trend-setting NFT auction. But like any pioneering venture, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. There were hiccups, delays, and tech gremlins. Yet, despite the bumps and bruises, the launch pulled in a cool million, proving once again that in the world of NFTs, fortune favors the bold. So, put on your digital kicks, and let’s dive into the rollercoaster journey of Nike’s OF1 NFT Auction.
Nike’s OF1 NFT Auction Kicks Off
Nike’s .SWOOSH, a radical Web3 platform, dropped its first ever non-fungible token (NFT) sneaker series. It was a thrill ride that saw over a cool million in sales, even though the journey was a tad rough, with delays and tech gremlins causing some frowns.
The virtual party started on May 15, a tad late from the original date of May 8. The first wave of sales, the “First Access,” was an exclusive gig for select users who scored “posters” as their VIP pass. Nike was throwing around 106,453 of these posters to its early-bird .SWOOSH crowd.
The “General Access” sale kicked off on May 24 – a fortnight late from its original gig date of May 10 – with the aim of selling the remaining NFTs from a total stockpile of 106,453.
By Thursday afternoon, more than 66,000 NFTs had found new homes, as per the good folks at Polygonscan. Each NFT carried a price tag of $19.82 – a sweet nod to the year the Air Force 1 sneaker made its debut – indicating that Nike has pocketed a cool $1.3 million from this virtual fest, although the party is still on and set to wrap up on June 1.
Bumps on the Road: Delays and Technical Difficulties
Despite the impressive figures, the launch saw a few hiccups, with tech and traffic problems causing a stir. This left some eager buyers feeling a little sour from the cumbersome process.
Meanwhile, whispers from the Nike team hint that sales are cruising a bit slower than expected. While physical sneaker drops often sell out faster than a hot concert ticket, over a third of the OF1 NFTs are still up for grabs.
When the First Access sale finally kicked off on May 15, it was more of a bumpy ride than a smooth launch. On May 7, the Twitter account for .SWOOSH tweeted that they needed a few more days to “fine-tune” their roll out and create a “seamless” experience. But when the party started, the website kept crashing like a bad DJ set, leading to a shaky minting experience that lasted several hours. Some users were less than thrilled, considering Nike’s knack for releasing limited-edition collectibles.
On May 16, Nike hit the pause button on its First Access sale due to the ongoing tech issues, pushing back its General Access sale in response. More “traffic issues” led to a second delay. On May 17, Nike said that there were still over 85,000 OF1 boxes left. By May 22, that number was still hovering around 83,000, despite what looked like a long line of users ready to snap up their NFTs.
The General Access sale finally started on May 24, but again, the site was hit with processing delays. Some users even reported being charged for OF1 NFTs but not receiving them. In response, .SWOOSH said that it “ran into an unexpected error that held up the minting process.” On May 25, Nike tweeted that over 55,000 OF1 boxes had been sold to over 30,000 unique buyers and hailed the sale a success. Other Nike staff were high-fiving.SWOOSH for “managing some insane traffic.”
Nike’s Web3 Journey Continues Strong
Nike planted its flag in the web3 world with the launch of Nikeland within the vast playground of Roblox in November 2021. A year later, they’ve added another feather to their cap – .Swoosh, a blockchain platform that opens up the Nike shoe design process to fans, even offering a chance to score royalties. Come January 2023, they upped the game by announcing a contest on .Swoosh, offering fans a shot to team up with Nike designers
Lessons from Nike’s NFT Adventure
As we reflect on the rollercoaster journey of Nike’s OF1 NFT auction, it’s clear that the transition to the Web3 world isn’t without its fair share of turbulence. Technical glitches and unexpected delays have certainly caused frustration among eager sneakerheads. Yet, despite these challenges, the bold venture has been remarkably successful, pulling in a cool million and setting the stage for a new era of digital commerce.
The resilience shown by Nike and its customers underlines the exciting potential of this nascent technology. While the road may be bumpy, the payoff promises to be significant, not just in terms of revenue but also in pioneering an innovative approach to customer engagement and brand expression.
Nike’s audacious foray into NFTs demonstrates its commitment to innovation and its readiness to embrace the future, no matter how unconventional it may seem. As the company continues to forge its path in the Web3 world, there’s no doubt that it will continue to learn, adapt, and innovate.
This journey may have begun with a virtual sneaker sale, but it’s clear that Nike is just getting started. As we keep our eyes peeled for what’s next, one thing’s for sure – in the world of NFTs, the game is only just beginning.
Featured image by Tom Roberts