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Into the Metaverse collection by Adidas Originals with Bored Ape Yacht Club

Adidas to enter the metaverse with first NFT products

Adidas has announced its next collection will be a mix of digital and physical items, and will be sold as NFTs produced with collaborators such as Bored Ape Yacht Club.

Titled Into the Metaverse, the collection will comprise virtual wearables that buyers can use in online platforms, but also the physical clothing to match.

It is Adidas' first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens – essentially, digital collectibles with proven authenticity. NFTs act as a blockchain-based certificate of ownership, allowing pieces to be authenticated, bought and collected.

The brand created the collection in partnership with some of the most well-known personalities in NFTs: Bored Ape Yacht Club, gmoney and the Punks Comic creators.

Visualisation of a bored ape wearing pink heart-shaped glasses and a green Adidas sweatshirt
Adidas' collaborators on Into the Metaverse include Bored Ape Yacht Club, which makes ape avatars

Adidas is positioning the launch as a way to engage with fans and join "the forefront of creativity".

"As part of our ambition to celebrate ideas that are defining a new age of originality, we've landed at the forefront of creativity, which is the open metaverse," said vice president of Adidas Originals marketing and communications Erika Wykes-Sneyd.

Adidas chief digital officer Scott Zalaznik said that blockchain technology, which records the unique signature and ownership of NFTs, presented a great opportunity for brands.

Visualisation of a character in silhouette wearing a bright orange beanie with a white string of numbers on a black sweatshirt
Another collaborator is gmoney, a leading NFT collector

"Blockchain is one of the most innovative technologies of this generation," said Adidas chief digital officer Scott Zalaznik. "We see it unlocking boundless potential to connect with our members."

"The foundation we are building with Web3 [a blockchain-based vision of the internet] will lead to new creative opportunities for partnerships, engagement through digital goods and a path towards a more inclusive future," he added.

Adidas is launching Into the Metaverse through its lifestyle label, Adidas Originals.

The NFTs went on sale on 17 December for the cost of 0.2 Ethereum, and the digital and physical wearables for NFT owners will be made available in 2022.

Visualisation of a bald androgynous figure in silhouette wearing an Adidas t-shirt
The artists behind Punks Comic, an NFT comic with a physical component, are also involved in Adidas' collection

The digital items will be usable in the blockchain-based gaming world of The Sandbox as well as other platforms, while the physical products will include a hoodie, tracksuit and gmoney's signature orange beanie.

As part of the launch, Adidas has also purchased its first NFT – ape #8774 of Bored Ape Yacht Club's 10,000-strong collection of ape avatars. The club comes with some perks for owners, which Adidas will now have access to.

Adidas has also acquired a plot of virtual land inside The Sandbox, which it plans to fill with "exclusive content and experiences".

Black Adidas hoodie close-up to print on the chest showing a long string of white numbers and the logos for gmoney, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comic and Adidas
Buyers of the Into the Metaverse NFTs will receive physical clothing to match their digital wearables

NFTs have been a hot topic since early 2021, when a Beeple NFT sold at auction at Christie's for a record-breaking $69 million.

Around the same time, designers sold NFTs of "impossible furniture" and a whole house.

While Adidas has embraced NFTs, the technology is controversial because the computing power it requires takes a colossal amount of energy.

A number of other brands are focusing on products for the metaverse, a digital universe where people can experience a parallel life to their real-world existence, including Nike, which just acquired virtual sneaker company RTFKT.

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