Sneaking Into The Metaverse
Adidas' NFT History & How It Fits Into a New Possible Paradigm
👋 Gm, gm, everyone! Welcome back to another edition of Overpriced PRO, our paid newsletter where we go in-depth into specific aspects of the web3 world and today we take a trip back to that old standard “THE METAVERSE”.
It almost sounds funny to say now, especially with all the articles we’ve seen calling for the end of even the *idea* of the Metaverse. But, at a time when many brands are backing away, sneaker brands continue to dive in head first.
In the last month we’ve seen:
Adidas launch Indigo Herz Fashion pack
Adidas launch CONFIRMED app
Nike’s Our Force 1 drop for .SWOOSH members
RTFKT Air Force 1 Forging
Puma launch the Grailed PUMA Slipstream
While the old web3 standards Decentraland and Sandbox may be on shaky ground, there’s a larger, more mainstream, and ultimately much bigger version of the Metaverse brewing, if the tech rumors are to be believed. And it’s keeping us excited during a time when much of the market is down bad.
Rumors of Apple’s VR/AR headset have long-abounded but they’ve intensified in recent weeks with expectations that it will be announced at WWDC this June. This is the Metaverse in the real world, the blending of digital and physical (dare we say phygital…) we’ve been promised for some time. And, while this is an early, very expensive first step, it’s clear that Apple believes there’s a big business here and where Apple goes, many follow. They’re calling it an experiment for now and there have even been some furious conversations within the company about it, but it’s clear a big bet is being placed.
Digital sneakers, and other digital wearables, which have been up until now a niche business at best, could be buoyed immensely by a legit AR marketplace and the sneaker companies are getting ready.
Nike, which has partnered directly with Apple in the past, is clearly setting themselves up to take advantage of this shift with dot Swoosh, but we think all wearable brands – and sneakers in particular – have an opportunity to dominate in this world.
As we prepare for this potential future – which we’ll bring you, our Overpriced PRO members, a series of deep dive essays around the brands that have positioned themselves for this moment.
Today, we take a look back at the moves made by one of the players we believe is poised to take advantage of this trend: Adidas.
ADIDAS: INTO THE METAVERSE
Adidas originally beat Nike to the NFT-punch by launching their Into the Metaverse collection with BAYC, GMoney, and Pixel Vault one month before Nike announced their RTFKT acquisition.
Anyone who saw the movie Air knows the 3 stripe v. Swoosh rivalry goes way back and why should digital sneakers be any different?
While we focus on Adidas’ activations in the space, we’d be remiss not to contrast their approach from time to time with that of their most famous rival.
Let’s dive in!
**Head to the bottom for a full Adidas activation timeline**
Into the Metaverse (when it was still cool)
Back in November 2021, in a time and place before Meta killed the Metaverse, Adidas made their web3 debut with a bang: minting out their 30k NFT collection Into the Metaverse (ITM) in partnership with some of the biggest names in the industry: Bored Apes, GMoney, and Pixel Vault.
The project, somewhat famously, printed $23 million (depending on where you put the price of ETH) split among five partners, the 4 listed above plus the Punks Gnosis safe.
(This split matters later when the inevitable community FUD kicked in, and folks levied the tried-and-true “you made 6,000 ETH and you can’t even deliver a sweatshirt on time?!”)