Adidas creates ‘Virtual Gear’ product category as it prepares for the future of the Metaverse

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Diving Brief:

  • As brands dive deeper into virtual goods, Adidas on Wednesday created a new product category for virtual equipment in an effort to accelerate its “open, member-driven, community-driven metaverse strategy”.
  • The new product category comes as Adidas launches its first collection of virtual apparel non-fungible tokens. The 16-piece Adidas Originals collection can be found at adidas.com/metaverse, according to a company statement.
  • Clothing is designed specifically for virtual avatars, and each piece is interoperable with other virtual worlds and projects. “This means that the Adidas collection is able to respond and adapt to the metaverse environments being built, so the ‘Virtual Gear’ is ready for all Web3 frontiers,” the company said.

Overview of the dive:

Adidas is all-in on the Metaverse.

“We are laying a marker in this new era of originality – a marker that unquestionably serves the community, the heroes, purveyors and collectors of emerging style and culture, benefits creators of value and supports diversity of expression and ‘utility that blurs virtual worlds has allowed us all to explore,” Adidas Three Stripes Studio Vice President Erika Wykes-Sneyd said in a statement. Wykes-Sneyd added that Adidas plans “to explore all viable utilities, platforms, and experiences within Web3 to unlock new possibilities for our portable devices, with a focus on tangible value and enduring usefulness for our community members.”

The NFT wearables collection, which went live on Wednesday, includes limited-edition merchandise from Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney and Punks Comics, and is available for purchase in “relevant NFT marketplaces.” Customers who own the Capsule NFT collection from Adidas can choose to drop their NFT capsule and receive one of the new garments at random. Going forward, owners of virtual wearables from Adidas and compatible partner collections will have access to a tool that dresses their NFTs with Adidas wearables.

Adidas’ commitment to the metaverse and an entire product category’s dedication to virtual goods comes just days after its rival Nike launched .Swoosh, a marketplace to collect and possibly exchange virtual goods. Nike will drop a digital collection on the platform in 2023 and allow select customers to co-create products like jerseys and shoes. Efforts come as brands look for ways to tie metaverse efforts to revenue and experiment with connecting virtual goods to physical products.

“As a brand, Adidas has always sought to explore the boundaries of creativity and push the boundaries to find what’s beyond,” said Nic Galway, senior vice president of creative direction at Adidas Originals, in a press release. “But Web3 offers our designers and collaborators a new outlet to imagine, and re-imagine, how our brand can be represented in augmented and virtual worlds.”

James T. Quintero