Nike Enter the Metaverse with 'NIKELAND', An Expansive Roblox World
Nike are heading into the metaverse, partnering with Roblox to create 'NIKELAND', a digital world that celebrates all things Swoosh. Set against the backdrop of Nike's corporate headquarters, this virtual playground offers mini-games, customization options and more.
There are three staples of Nike's Roblox experience: mini-games, character customization options and actual movement. The first of these pillars is provided by launch games like dodgeball and 'the floor is lava', and will soon be expanded with a 'NIKELAND' tool kit that allows players to make their own games. The second is a wide swath of Nike footwear and apparel, enabling gamers to outfit their Roblox characters in everything from Air Force 1s and Blazers to ACG garments. Movement is the most interesting of the three and is core to Nike's 'if you have a body, you're an athlete' ethos – players will be able to use accelerometers inside their phones to pull off long jumps or high-speed runs in the game, meaning that actual physical performance can translate to digital athletic feats.
Per a report from CNBC, Nike have great plans for Nikeland. It could serve as a digital space for competitions tied to real-world events like the NBA Finals, the World Series or the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. There's also a possibility that 'NIKELAND' could be used to tease upcoming products – just like Jordan Brand did with Fortnite in 2019, showing off digital iterations of the Air Jordan 1 SB 'LA to Chicago' and Air Jordan 1 SB 'NYC to Paris'.
Roblox boasts more than 200 million estimated monthly users, so Nike entering its virtual world provides them with a big chance to convert the game's base into real-life customers who'll spend cold, hard cash! It's a shrewd move, as in recent quarters Nike have been driven by digital sales: back in June, the Swoosh reported annual revenue of $44.5 billion dollars, with much of that moolah coming from e-shopping!
If you prefer tangible sneaker content over metaverse-based sneaker content, be sure to check out our interview with Patta's Vincent van de Waal and jack-of-all-trades Lee Stuart on the Patta x Nike Air Max 1 'Rush Maroon' here.