Nike’s NFT Sneaker Launch: Success or Disappointment Amid Delays and Technical Issues?

Intricate virtual sneaker collection, radiant light, splashes of vibrant colors, futuristic Web3 platform, dynamic digital showroom, energetic mood, geometric patterns, contrasting shadows, subtle reflections, touch of artistic style inspired by Takashi Murakami, sense of anticipation and excitement, hints of technical glitches.

Nike’s much-talked-about .SWOOSH Web3 platform has successfully released its first non-fungible token (NFT) sneaker collection, raking in over $1 million in sales. Despite this seeming success, the launch was marred by persistent delays and technical issues, leaving many wondering if it lived up to the hype.

The highly-anticipated Nike virtual sneaker sale began on May 15, almost a week later than the planned May 8 start date. The “First Access” sale prioritized select users who received special “posters” allowing them early entry into the sales event. In total, Nike distributed 106,453 posters to its earliest .SWOOSH community members.

The “General Access” sale started on May 24 – two weeks behind its initial schedule – aiming to sell the remaining NFTs from the inventory. Over 66,000 NFTs have been sold so far, each priced at $19.82 as a tribute to the debut of the Air Force 1 sneaker. While the sale figures and dollar amounts look promising, technical issues and traffic management problems have led to the launch being described as cumbersome and frustrating for eager buyers.

The Nike team updates hint at sales moving slower than they expected. While physical Nike sneaker releases often sell out within minutes, over a third of the available NFTs remain unsold. Delays during the First Access sale set the stage for a rocky NFT minting experience. Even though .SWOOSH took extra time to perfect the rollout, the website continued to crash, and minting took several hours.

On May 17, there were still over 85,000 OF1 boxes left, and by May 22, the number remained around 83,000. This is quite surprising, considering the number of users eagerly awaiting the opportunity to purchase. General Access sales starting on May 24 were not exempt from processing delays, and some users reported being charged without receiving their NFTs.

Despite these setbacks, Nike publicly declared the sale a success, stating that over 55,000 OF1 boxes were sold to more than 30,000 unique buyers. The sneaker giant has been making strategic moves in recent years to strengthen its Web3 presence, acquiring digital fashion startup RTFKT Studios. The company has also partnered with brands such as Rimowa and artist Takashi Murakami for limited-edition releases.

The upcoming .SWOOSH marketplace and plans to expand into virtual and IRL experiences, gaming, mint passes, and 3D files suggest that Nike is still bullish on its Web3 strategy. However, the technical issues and launch delays raise questions about its execution. Nonetheless, the potential for future growth and success in this space is undeniable for a brand with the stature of Nike.

Source: Coindesk

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