June 26, 2023

Is Nike Giving Away 240 Million NFTs?

GM DOers! 😎

Last week, Nike announced a partnership with Fortnite – teasing that there’ll be a sneaker hunt en-route. 👟

We thought, huh, pretty cool! But we expected this after the Nike x EA Sports partnership. After all, it’s how this works. When a brand announces something big, others are queuing to get in on the action. 🔥 

And we told you both in our newsletter and on Twitter that this will happen. Predicting trends, that's our thing. 😉

While you're scrolling through this, the first-ever eSports Olympics is kicking off in Singapore 🏁, and guess what? Fortnite is one of the 10 'virtual sports' showcasing at the competition.

Plus, the eSports industry is now raking in billions each year, and Fortnite alone snagged a staggering 240 Million active players in June. Whaaaat! 🤯

The takeaway? eSports is on fire, set to become one of the world's biggest sectors with Fortnite leading the charge. 💪🎮

So yeah, this Nike x Fortnite thing? It's kind of a huge deal.

And as you already know: web3 x gaming = 🤝 so we can’t not talk about it… 

Let’s roll 👇

👉 Lens Protocol: The Future of Social Media

Decentralized social media finally allows creators to own their content, data and followers. That’s why we choose to build part of our media platform on Lens Protocol.

The Nike x Fortnite Partnership

Kicking off from June 20th to June 27th (which wraps up tomorrow at 12PM EST), Fortnite players who visit Airphoria—a virtual Air-Max-themed island—for 10 minutes will score themselves a digital Air Max 1 '86 Back Bling sneaker. 👟

But that's not all. By linking your Epic Games and Nike accounts during the Airphoria event, you'll get to claim a unique "Achievement" on .SWOOSH. 🔗

These are not tradable, sellable, and do not come with any monetary value. They're just for bragging rights! 

This exciting collaboration between Epic Games (the company behind Fortnite) and Nike, inaugurated with the launch of 'Airphoria', is just the first step of many future collaborations. 

Now, a critical thing to note: this partnership doesn't incorporate any NFTs or digital trading marketplaces into Fortnite. 

So, to answer the question in today’s title: No, Nike isn’t giving away 240 Million NFTs.

However, those who link their Epic Games & .SWOOSH accounts, are eligible to receive a future .SWOOSH drop called the Air Max Virtual Collection. And those, my friends, will be NFTs.

And this opens up a lot of really exciting opportunities.

We're talking about a whole new world where players can integrate their online presence across various ecosystems. 🌐

Imagine Nike's Air Max brand immersing itself in the Fortnite world, complete with themed islands, cool cosmetics, and account linking between Nike and Epic.

Once your accounts are linked, it opens up a world of interoperable virtual goodies like Fortnite skins and Nike achievements, that can be used cross-platform.

It seems to be what Nike’s going for by partnering with both EA Sports and Epic Games. 👀

We talk more about the interoperability benefits in our podcast with Colin from Paragraph, which you can check out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or YouTube.

Let’s dive into Fornite’s influence for a second.

Fortnite’s Massive Reach

According to Active Player, in June alone, Fortnite had a head-turning 240 million users logging in. The only game outshining Fortnite right now is Minecraft. 😲🎮

That’s some serious exposure for Nike in the digital sphere. They’re virtually handing out a free Nike digital collectible (not NFT) to potentially hundreds of millions of people.

And all of them are then able to connect their Epic Games account to .SWOOSH to get a future drop.

Big win for Nike in my opinion! 🚀

Furthermore, Fortnite is present at the first ever eSports Olympics, where over 100 athletes from around the world are competing across 10 virtual sports.

This is the first live, in-person edition of the virtual sports series created by the International Olympic Committee.

Why are we talking about this?

Because this highlights the big leap that the young generation is taking towards the online world. 

10 to 20 years ago, kids used to watch Basketball on the TV and then go out to play Basketball with their friends. 

Today, kids are watching CS:GO tournaments and then heading to their computers to play CS:GO with their friends. 

The entertainment industry is changing big time and it all leads to people becoming more digitally native. And at Web3 Academy, we love to talk about the future of the internet, so we can’t not touch on this generational shift. 

To give you a better understanding of what’s going on, let’s look at the eSports market for a second.

🤝 Thanks to our trusted exchange partner, BYDFi.

We believe that we’re in the early stages of a bull run and there’s no better time to buy crypto. This is when you should be practising monthly dollar cost averaging into strong network tokens like Ethereum and Bitcoin. 💪

And if you’re buying it’s important to do so with a licensed and reputable exchange. That’s why we recommend using BYDFi. 🚀

The eSports Market And Its Issues

Here’s a few interesting stats about IRL eSports events:

  1. In November 2022, the League Of Legends World Cup final had a peak of 5,147,701 viewers

  2. A month ago, the CS:GO major in Paris had an IRL attendance of 50,000 fans, with 1,500,000 watching from home on YouTube, Twitch and BLAST.tv.

The demand for IRL & virtual eSports events is growing insanely. And business is blooming too.

According to Statista, the projected revenue from eSports events is set to reach almost 2 Billion dollars in the coming years.

eSports event: a regional or international video gaming event in which professional and amateur players compete against each other.

And this isn’t even taking into account the overall gaming sector, which is estimated to bring in over 500 Billion dollars in revenue yearly, with a forecast to continuously increase between 2023 and 2027 by 136.8 billion U.S. dollars (+34.53 percent). Source.

But despite its increased popularity, the gaming industry has 1 big issue: it’s way too centralized.

In a typical game (Fortnite included) the company owns all in-game assets, aka the things you can buy in a game to customize your character.

According to Statista, gamers are forecasted to spend over $74 Billion on in-game items in 2025.

74 BILLION DOLLARS… Let that number sink in! And all of that is spent on items that the player doesn’t even own. 

Web3 is here to fix that!

Wrapping Up. How Is Web3 Relevant?

Web3 gives ownership back to users through tools like NFTs.

You’ve noticed above that we had to look onchain on Statista to get relevant numbers. We wish we could’ve looked onchain…

If in-game items were NFTs, the players would be able to:

1. Sell the items on a peer-to-peer, open market.

This shift is a pretty big deal. As it stands, your options for selling an item are pretty limited.

You either have to sell it back to the platform—often at a far lower price than you bought it for—or venture into the gray market.

The catch? You usually have to sell your entire account, as most in-game items in most games simply aren't transferable. 😬💼

This gray market method is also riddled with security risks. But we'll save that discussion for another time!

2. Take the items off platform and use them elsewhere

Picture this—you've got an awesome sword in Fortnite and you're itching to connect with fellow enthusiasts on a Discord server.

Currently, that's a no-go. But in a world where your sword is an NFT, you could restrict access to your Discord server only to those who hold that specific NFT. 🚀

Just like that, you've created a sub-community within Fortnite, united by their shared interest in one specific thing: that awesome sword. 🗡️

These 2 examples are just skimming the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible with NFTs. 

We don’t want to go deeper into the examples. We’ll let your imagination work on that. Instead, let’s zoom out and talk macro before wrapping up here…

The internet is becoming more gamified with each passing day and everyone is looking for fun, digital experiences.

It’s why TikTok became so popular (a really easy way of consuming content in short-form video format).

And it’s why gaming and eSports events are really picking up (another form of entertainment that resonates with the younger generation).

Everyone is looking for fun, digital experiences.

And web3 is here to provide that. The benefits are clear: players should be able to own their in-game assets, and games should facilitate experiences in collaboration with other brands. 

Web3 enables all of this, and it does it way better than web2.

Your .SWOOSH account could become your avatar in games, in-game items might soon be bouncing across platforms and games, and brand-collaborative digital experiences (like the Airphoria island in Fortnite) could become the new norm. 🚀🎮

Gaming will be a driving force behind our migration from online to onchain, and this Nike x Fortnite partnership is a shining example of what lies ahead. 🎯

So, DOers, fasten your seatbelts because we're heading towards a world where gaming isn't just about fun—it's about ownership, cross-platform capabilities, and immersive brand experiences.

Thanks for reading. And remember, you're strong, you’re powerful, you’re alpha! ❤️

See you soon. ✌️

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content.