Nike, the world-renowned footwear giant, has recently announced the launch of its first NFT drop on its .Swoosh Web3 community platform. The collection, titled “Our Force 1” (OF1), pays tribute to Nike’s iconic Air Force 1 sneaker, which made its debut 41 years ago. The OF1 collection will consist of Polygon virtual sneaker NFTs, potentially amounting to hundreds of thousands of pairs of the brand’s virtual Air Force 1 sneakers.

The drop will feature two types of virtual sneaker boxes, the Classic Remix and New Wave boxes. The Classic Remix boxes will contain virtual kicks inspired by Air Force 1 shoes released between 1982 and 2006, while the New Wave boxes will feature pairs designed in 2007 and later. Among the Classic Remix boxes will be an undisclosed number of unique, customized AF1s with a “nostalgic twist,” while the New Wave boxes will include custom, expressive AF1s with a more “futuristic twist.”

Each virtual sneaker box will be priced at $19.82 USD, paying homage to the year of the Air Force 1’s debut. It is worth noting that Nike will not accept payments for the NFTs in cryptocurrency. There is no set limit on the number of OF1 NFTs that will be available to mint.

Starting tomorrow, Nike will begin airdropping virtual AF1 posters, which are necessary to unlock an OF1 box NFT, to randomly selected .Swoosh members. These members will be able to begin minting OF1 boxes on May 8th. On May 10th, the entire .Swoosh community will be able to purchase OF1 boxes. Currently, there are over 330,000 .Swoosh members, and anyone can join the platform for free.

Details about the specific virtual shoe designs in the OF1 drop remain intentionally vague. However, in February, Nike announced that four virtual shoe designs envisioned by .Swoosh members had been selected to feature in the OF1 drop. Nike designers have worked with these community members to bring the designs to life on the blockchain. These fan co-created designs will also be randomly scattered among both types of boxes.

Images: Nike

Ron Faris, GM of Nike Virtual Studios, stated, “We are exploring new ways to tell stories and create relationships while removing the barriers and limitations of physical product… With more members choosing to express themselves across physical and digital worlds, .Swoosh is the marketplace of the future.” In the near future, the OF1 boxes will unlock additional utilities and benefits for holders, including access to exclusive physical products and experiences.

This is not Nike’s first venture into the digital sneaker business. Last spring, the company debuted CryptoKicks, Ethereum-based digital sneaker NFT wearables designed in collaboration with RTFKT, the NFT sneaker studio that Nike acquired in late 2021. Pairs of CryptoKicks, which were originally airdropped to holders of other rare RTFKT NFTs, quickly began fetching prices well over $14,000 on secondary markets.

Nike’s OF1 drop takes a more egalitarian approach by offering many NFTs at a relatively low and fixed price point. The project’s element of community involvement appears to prioritize community participation in .Swoosh, as opposed to generating quick returns in NFT revenue. Recent efforts by other major brands that appear solely interested in achieving the latter have backfired.