- In its continued push toward digital, Nike on Monday acquired Rtfkt, a virtual products and experiences company that uses technologies like augmented reality, blockchain authentication, NFTs and game engines to create "next generation collectibles."
- Founded in 2020, Rtfkt's products "merge culture and gaming," according to a company press release, and include sneakers and "digital artifacts." The acquisition comes on top of several others Nike has made to improve its digital capabilities, including predictive analytics firm Celect and data integration platform Datalogue.
- The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nike has put its pursuit of digital front and center for years now. The athletics giant is aiming for digital to make up the majority of its revenue and in June said it would reach a 50% digital business by 2025.
Nike's digital journey has included an intense focus on mobile, personalized e-commerce experiences and omnichannel. The retailer is also prioritizing its DTC channels, trimming down wholesale partners and working to create a seamless experience between its stores, e-commerce and mobile apps.
During a media event in November, Nike executives discussed the larger digital strategy in detail, including how it's using data to send personalized promotions to sneaker collectors and pair shoppers with product based on their interactions with other Nike apps.
"Nike Digital is not a separate or siloed body of work," Steve Scarpetta, vice president and general manager of Nike Direct Digital Commerce for North America, said at the time. "Digital is truly the throughline to our One Nike Marketplace vision and it's central in our consumers' everyday lives."
Acquisitions along the way have helped fuel Nike's ambitions. For example, the Celect acquisition is helping the retailer with "getting the right product in the right place at the right time," CEO John Donahoe said earlier this year, while Datalogue is being used to improve personalization across search and product recommendations. Donahoe said in March that Nike is "just scratching the surface" when it comes to crafting a personalized experience for shoppers.
The Rtfkt purchase is no exception, and will give Nike a stronger foothold in the virtual spaces shoppers are beginning to interact in. For Rtfkt, it gives the company the backing of a strong retailer with expertise and resources to help it grow.
"This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike's digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture," Donahoe said in a statement. "We're acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike's digital footprint and capabilities."