To become a Vogue Business Member and receive the Technology Edit newsletter, Click here.
Puma, facing stiff competition in the metaverse of Nike and Adidas, unveiled the next step in its Web3 strategy: a partnership with 10KTF, the NFT storytelling project that includes a virtual Tokyo and digital clothing for image avatars of profile (PFP) made by Wagmi-San, a fictional tailor who previously worked with Gucci.
This is Puma’s most significant metaverse project to date, with digital products tied to physical goods on the horizon, Puma Brand Director Adam Petrick said in an exclusive interview with Business in vogue to announce its Web3 strategy.
“As a sports company, we have to think about engaging with people in the physical world and giving people the opportunity to bring physical products into the digital world,” says Petrick. Digital products open up new possibilities, he says: a digital basketball shoe can carry athletic ability with it into virtual worlds, for example. “Whether it’s utility or playful access, it’s like a fourth dimension of experience with the product,” he says.
Sneaker brands and sportswear giants have been early adopters of digital products, virtual worlds and NFTs, as there is considerable overlap between gamers, sneakerheads and the Web3 crowd. Already, rivals Adidas and Nike are racing to meet them: Nike has announced it has acquired digital fashion startup Rtfkt with a recent co-branded project that lets people buy and customize sneakers as NFTs before selling them. physically produce. Alternatively, Adidas landed with a bang in December with a collab that sold special-access NFTs, though it’s been quieter since, and Ben Mayor White, who spearheaded its metaverse strategy, left the company.
Puma, whose annual revenue of $7.7 billion in 2021 is lower than Nike’s $44.5 billion and Adidas’ $25 billion for the same period, still sees a place for them. “I am certainly aware of [the competition]says Petrick. “Our goals right now are to understand and try to be as authentic as possible and help people learn along the way. not necessarily something we’ve done. For Puma, revenue streams are a priority for any investment. There has to be “return in any territory we explore because, ultimately, we’re in the business of intellectual property.” The ambition is “to learn and adapt while trying to be relevant, authentic and inclusive”.
With the 10KTF project, fans of the brand can expect elements of personalization and personalization – an emerging trend in digital sneakers and NFT collections. At the 10KTF event, Puma teased this by giving away Puma and 10KTF co-branded t-shirts. “The metaverse, in general, is a great place to get rid of the boundaries that the physical world creates to be able to think about design very gradually,” says Petrick, “and young people who are more receptive or flexible in their thinking about expression personal will grow to become truly progressive. They assume that personalization is part of the world we live in because it has been around since day one [for them].”